Reviewed by Tami Smith, Film Reviewer for Shockya
Director: Kay Cannon
Screenwriters: Kay Cannon, based on Cendrillon ou la petite pantoufle de verre by Charles Perrault
Cast: Camila Cabello, Idina Menzel, Nicholas Galitzine, Billy Porter, Minnie Driver, Pierce Brosnan , Tullulah Greive, James Acaster, James Corden, Romesh Ranganathan
Release Date: September 3rd, 2021
When Prince Harry met actress Meghan Markle on July 2016 he did not imagine that his life would take a turn via marriage on May 2018, fatherhood on May 2019 and June 2021, then stepping back from the royal family and moving to Canada and California on October 2020.
Similar events take place in the newest version of Cinderella, a musical comedy written and directed by Kay Cannon. The story of Cinderella was written by Charles Perrault in 1697 and many versions followed since, but the latest and newest musical takes the traditional story on a left spin.
When Prince Robert (Nicholas Galitzine) has a chance encounter with working class Cinderella (Camila Cabello) he is enchanted. During a second meeting in the palace ball he says to her: “I pick you to be my princess and It does not matter to me that you are not of royal blood” and “We will get married and you will live the rest of your life like royalty”. But little does he know that Cinderella does not want to live her life from the “royal box” and has ambitions to open her own fashion design business. She rejects his proposal saying: “If that’s a choice I choose me”. Robert’s father, King Rowan (Pierce Brosnan) gives his son an ultimatum: “Your time is up Robert, you will marry Princess Laura by this week’s end and I don’t care if you don’t love each other”. What is a prince to do? Desperate Robert is on a mission to reunite with Cinderella, and the rest is history. Did they get married and live happily ever after? Perhaps not in the sense that author Charles Perrault visioned in 1697. All in all, some women have other options. They find their princes and careers as well.
Camila Cabello plays Cinderella as a modern day heroine trying to combine love and professional life, without losing sight of either. Her vocals are a major assets while her physic and dance moves do not disappoint. Idina Menzell as Stepmother Vivian, creates a two-dimensional role of a woman whose dreams were crushed after being widowed twice but wants the best for her daughters’ future. Nicholas Galitzine is Prince Robert, a royal son, who does not fit in with the royal mold but is duty-bound to obey his father’s wishes. Eventually he will get the courage to put his foot down and leave the Kingdom. Though primarily a singer Mr. Galitzine can ride a horse and dance too. Billy Porter as a narrator gives a magical aura to Cinderella’s god parent and protector, dressed as shiny orange Monarch butterfly. Pierce Brosnan and Minnie Driver as King Rowan and Queen Beatrice respectively make the most with their two underwritten roles while giving their vocal cords a trial by singing. Supporting roles are played by James Acaster, James Corden and Romesh Ranganathan as Cinderella’s part-time carriage footmen, using family-oriented humor for comic relief.
Cinderella is an energetic film, rich with music, song and dance numbers such as: Rhythm Nation, You Got to be Bold, Somebody to Love, Material Girl, Let’s Get Loud and Shinning Star, all sung by a multi-racial cast following a modern beat with Latin flavor. Costumes were designed by Ellen Mirojnick and hair and makeup were done in Baroque style by Sharon Martin. Excellent choreography, especially in the Royal Ball segment, was done by Ashley Wallen, and Jenny Griffin overseeing sixty dancers and two hundred background players
Cinderella was filmed in England by director of photography Henry Braham in Blenheim Palace, where the palace interiors were shot; Claydon House in Buckinghamshire, which stands in for the throne room; Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire for the royal balcony; Lancaster House in London and Blackpool Tower for the ballroom scenes with velvet box seats, red drapes and candelabras.
At a PG rating Cinderella will provide good viewing for families with young children, especially girls.
113 minutes Rated: PG© Tami Smith, Film Reviewer