“Cinderella” with a feminist twist

Cinderella: a classic story with several recreations. Yet another remake was released on Amazon Prime on Sept. 3  with Grammy-nominated musician, Camilla Cabello, making her acting debut in the “Cinderella” musical remake. After watching a more empowered and modern plot unravel, I have to say this movie is quite refreshing.

The plot follows Ella (Cabello), a young woman with an ambition to establish a dress shop, and her struggles to become financially successful on her own in a patriarchal society.  Along the way, she encounters Prince Robert (Nicholas Galitzine) who wants to become the king, but struggles to be accepted by his father. Ella faces problems with her desire to create her shop and growing feelings for Prince Robert.

The movie did a great job highlighting the stereotypes women face, such as being told that all they should do in life is be a suitable wife and take care of their households. A woman is expected to find a husband and tend to his needs, and even the idea of becoming independent and financially providing for her family—as shown in the movie—is ridiculed. Seeing a new empowered and ambitious Cinderella was refreshing. The only reason Ella even attended the ball was to help her create her business, which showed how she valued her personal dream of having a dress business more than love.

I truly appreciate the fact that this film shines a light on prejudice that exists in society and how Ella overcame them. It was satisfying to see a woman’s ability to stand on her own as opposed to the dream and anxiety of being swept off her feet and saved by someone else. Ella’s dynamic character brought so much more diversity than past Cinderella characters. Her priority of building a career for herself was inspiring. She had a strong desire, not for love, but to be a successful dressmaker. 

The modern take with the non-binary fairy godmother (Billy Portman) was another reason I enjoyed this movie, because it was another stereotype the movie did not follow. I also enjoyed James Cordens’ brief appearance as one of the mice. The plot wasn’t always super heavy with emotion, as the addition of these characters brought some fun and comedic scenes into the movie. 

The soundtrack was amazing because Cabello has a beautiful voice with so much emotion. Cabello, who began her music career in the hit girl group Fifth Harmony, has become one of the most popular solo female musicians in the industry. My favorite track from the movie was “Million To One,”  because it reflects the minds of people with big dreams. The song was so empowering and Cabello showcased the song with such purity and emotion.

Overall, the remake was uplifting and empowering. I also have to give credit to Cabello for giving a strong performance. As a new actress, she did better than I expected and portrayed Ella’s strong character nicely. I recommend it to anyone looking for a strong feminist movie.