Review: Cinderella is the camp remake we didn’t know we needed

Cinderella Movie Billy Porter

The 2021 remake of the classic story of Cinderella has delivered in all the right ways. 

Starring Billy Porter, Minnie Driver, Idina Menzel and Pierce Brosnan this reimagined story hits all the right notes.

Bringing the film firmly into 2021 this reboot has plenty of modern twists.

From the casting of Billy Porter in the role of the fairy godmother to Cinderellas quest for a career and independence, things are a little different this time around.

Cinderella is Glee meets Disney in all the right ways

From the outset, it’s clear that this isn’t your classic Cinderella tale.

Gone is the traditional young blonde, instead, Camila Cabello plays the title role, a nod to the more diverse casting of the film.

Ella, known as Cinderella by her stepsisters is still mistreated and looked down upon as she yearns for a future as a dressmaker and business owner.

What follows is a slightly different, if not better, journey towards happiness for our protagonist.

The film kicks off with an upbeat musical number that involves every member of the cast at some point. It’s absolutely camp, as it should be.

The opening number is a mash up of Rhythm Nation by Janet Jackson and You Gotta Be by Des’ree. It’s a perfect indicator of what’s to come

It’s clear this is going to be a high energy musical film. Something it delivers on from start to finish.

The camp over the top delivery of the songs coupled with the zingy one-liners of the cast gives it a very Glee-meets-Disney feel, in all the right ways.

Covers of songs like Material Girl delivered by Idina Menzel are funny, quirky and laughable.

Meanwhile, mashups like Whatta Man and Seven Army Nation are utterly ridiculous perfection.

One thing is very clear.

This version of Cinderella has been made with its tongue planted firmly in its cheek.

By not taking itself too seriously it’s fun and fabulous, delivering a different message through the same story we know and love.

A cast to remember

It’s not often that all of the lead and supporting actors can manage to hold their own collectively.

Too often someone can easily steal the spotlight while others fade, but this cast is the perfect balance.

Prince Robert played by Nicholas Galitzine is an excellent fit.

Having starred in queer film Handsome Devil, it’s refreshing to see his face again.

Whilst still being idiculously handsome, his character is given much more depth in this remake.

Much like Princess Jasmine in Disney’s Aladdin, Prince Robert is fighting against his fathers wish for him to marry.

Forced to find a bride, Robert escapes to the marketplace disguised as a commoner. Another nod to the Aladdin tale.

Here a fleeting encounter with Cinderella leaves him infatuated. Unable to find her again he throws a ball for the townspeople in hopes of meeting her once more.

The dynamic between the prince and his dysfunctional parents played by Pierce Brosnan and Minnie Driver is perfect.

The energy, chemistry and timing between Driver and Brosnan is everything.

Coupled with Prince Roberts overly ambitious sister, desperate for the throne, this added layer to the story is both entertaining and a nod to a new world.

The other family more central to the story is equally entertaining.

Cinderellas wicked stepsisters Narissa and Marvolio are equal parts stupid and entertaining. Much more than they are wicked.

With perfect oneliners, they bookend the unpleasant family. Wicked stepmother Vivian (Idina Menzel) is at its centre.

Menzel truly does deliver on the wicked side to this character. Perfectly capable of turning from loving to loathing in an instant, her character hits all the right notes.

Billy Porter Shines as Cinderellas Fairy Godmother

Billy Porter already had people talking from the outset about his role in this film.

Starring as a genderless fairy godmother, now referred to as the ‘Fab G,’ Porter is fabulous.

Although his time on screen is limited he makes it memorable.

Porter not only serves as the Godmother to Cinderella but also narrates the film at various points.

The chemistry between Porter and Cabello helps to cement the tone of the film.

A different pathway to happily ever after

What shines brightest about Cinderella is the approach to do things differently, without need for explanation.

Some critics have attacked the film for being “woke” and “feminist rubbish.” It’s anything but.

Put simply, the remake looks at different ways to finding a happily ever after.

Yes. Cinderella does explore her world through a feminist lens.

She wants more than love and marriage.

Throughout the film her ideas on independence and finding her own way are constant and clear.

Likewise the story of Prince Robert equally seeks to explore different versions of masculinity and the dismantling of institutions.

Those things are there if you look for them.

But if you don’t, you’ll enjoy a fun film about two people looking for their own happiness in a world where people like to sing a lot.

Maybe, you’ll even find your own way to your own happily ever after.

Cinderella is streaming on Amazon Prime in Australia.

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