I wanted to love this latest version of the age-old CINDERELLA story, but I just couldn’t do it. The film is over-the-top and meant for a very young audience that needs constant glitz, glamor, and frenzy. 

Updating a classic is not new, but it is imperative to keep major, important sections that make it special. This version changed what we all love about this story. The characters were not well-defined. Everyone had way too much angst about their life choices, and we were constantly knee-deep in shallowness and pride. They might have sung about love and finding your true self but were clueless in the journey. 

CINDERELLA wanted to be a dress designer, the Prince had nothing to offer except to look cute, and an added character, the sister of the Prince, was into environmental issues. Even the King was way too full of himself while the Queen was forever hesitant to say what she really thinks. The stepmother wasn’t mean enough, nor were the stepsisters. The Godmother was fabulous but shrill and so self-absorbed. Even the mice were just plain weird. 

The cast was stellar, including Camila Cabello, Billy Porter, Idina Menzel, Minnie Driver, Pierce Brosnan, Nicholas Galitzine, and James Corden. Their voices were amazing as they belted out pop tunes, but not one from the original musical version score. Unfortunately, the music from Queen, Madonna, JLo, and Janet Jackson did not move the story forward, rather the musical numbers were entertaining and huge extravaganzas. Yes, they were choreographed well, but when it was over, felt tiresome and did not give you that sigh of contentment at the end. I actually was ready for the film to be done. 

CINDERELLA was a disappointment for me. You can’t substitute quality for quantity, and this version was overstuffed. It is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video. 

Esta Rosevear

Esta Rosevear has been a Theatre Arts teacher and director for 35+ years, published Children’s author of the Rebecca series, and is passionate about violin, walking, and reading

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