A 21st Century Cinderella

Sophia Henry | A&E Editor


On Sept. 3rd, 2021, a new Cinderella movie came out simply called “Cinderella”. The movie gets introduced by Billy Porter as the narrator who also plays the fairy godmother. His tone gives an energetic element as he describes the people of the town, the noble people begin to sing and dance while working to a mash-up of “Rhythm Nation” by Janet Jackson, and “You Gotta Be” by Des’ree. As the story goes on, we meet Cinderella who was played by Camila Cabello and her evil stepmother who was played by Idina Menzel, and her stepsisters who are played by Maddie Baillio and Charlotte Spencer. We learn the meaning of her name, as it was a mean nickname her sisters gave her, and her actual name is just “Ella”, and she is a dressmaker. She has big dreams of making the finest dresses for the finest people, but with the way her life is going, this possibility doesn’t seem possible, until she meets prince Robert played by Nicholas Galitzine.

He quickly falls in love with her, and she has no idea. He dresses like a commoner to try to meet her and walks into town as she is trying to sell one of her dresses while people make fun of her for trying to be a “businessman.” The unique thing about this movie is that throughout characters will bring up facts like how back in that time period women were not allowed to own businesses or that the prince's sister, Princess Gwen wants to be “King” one day and keeps mentioning things that the kingdom should be doing differently like using renewable energy. That along with the hit playlist combined with strong musical numbers creates a perfect mashup of bringing Cinderella to the 21st century.

As the movie goes on, there is pressure for both Cinderella and the prince to get married so the prince decides to throw a ball. He has one condition though, he asks the king for everyone to be invited to the ball, including commoners, that way Cinderella can come. Cinderella makes her own dress for it and gets very excited but then her stepmother tells her she can’t go because she already has a male suitor and people with suitors are not allowed to go to balls. Although she consistently fights back, the stepmother in retaliation throws a dark liquid on Cinderella’s dress completely ruining it. This is when the fairy godmother comes in, and there is nothing more 21st century than a flamboyant black man portraying a fairy godmother. They use their magic to create the famous pumpkin carriage and magically turns her pet rats into horses. They grab one of Cinderella’s designs and make it into a dress, and then off she goes, with the final spell being the only person who is capable of recognizing her is the prince. When we go into the ball the prince enters and a group of women hoping to be chosen sing “Whatta Man” by Salt and Peppa which transitions into “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes. As the night goes on Cinderella meets a queen who falls in love with the dress she is wearing and asks where she gets it from, when she says she designed it, the queen is impressed and asks If she will travel with her and be her very own dress designer, Cinderella gets very excited and agrees to meet with her at the town center the next day to make things official. One issue comes up though, if Cinderella were to marry a prince, it is looked down upon for queens to do that type of work and there is a strict role she would have to play, apart from that though, the prince doesn’t even want to be promoted to king someday, so they decide to say no to everything and just do what they want to do, instead his little sister will be queen and take charge.

In the end everything works out, Cinderella gets to become a personal dress designer and they get to live in their very own happily ever after.