Cinderella – A Tale For The Ages Finally Comes of Age
As heirlooms are passed across generations, Cinderella’s story too has been echoed time and again across generations, across the world. In that long span, human creativity and progress has left no realm untouched then; how come did our poor Cinderella not get the makeover she deserved? With a wave of the magic wand, her appearance alters from a captive maid to a royal princess, as we have all witnessed with wonder over the years while all else remains fixed, our mentality included. But Kay Cannon, director of the Camila Cabello starring Cinderella, decided to address the injustice and gave Cinderella the makeover she deserved. This turnabout is good riddance from damsels-in-distress, knights in shining armours, gender disparity and patriarchy. This feminist, Ella, doesn’t deter from throwing away glass slippers and breaking glass ceilings. Let’s take a look at how this retelling of Cinderella deviates from her predecessors:
Not just a pretty face
The archetypal Disney princess is nowhere to be found in this adaptation. In fact, Ella is no longer the helpless biddy scrubbing floors; instead, she aspires to be a fashion designer. No longer a captive of her evil stepmother, we witness Ella making dresses to sell from the basement. After ages, the writers finally gave her a voice and an ambition; she isn’t a dreamer waiting upon a prince; instead, she is a go-getter who doesn’t shy away from rejecting the prince.
Fairy Godmother, who’s that?
Gender fluidity paves the way in the latest Cinderella as Fab G (Fabulous Godparent) replaces the age-old godmother. What’s better, Fab G results from Ella’s own making when she rescues a caterpillar from a spider at the beginning of the movie. As a payback, Fab G turns Ella’s plain dress into a decorated one that, too, from Cinderella’s own designs.
Hey, I have a personality too!
Prince charming Robert, a fine specimen of a flat character, at last, gets a personality besides just good looks. Though clueless of royal shortcomings and spoilt, as the movie progresses, he gains a perspective of the real world and tries to become worthy of Cinderella for a change and not the other way round. He not only refuses the throne but advocates for his sister’s rights and tries to improve the deeply flawed institution.
Time for a new character
It’s about time we added a paragon of feminism to the adaptation, Princess Gwen (Prince Robert’s sister). We see glimpses of a meritorious leader, an apostle of reform policies and a worthy ruler in Princess Gwen through the movie. By the end of the movie, she manages to shift the patriarchal inclination of her father and becomes the successor of the kingdom.
Evil Stepmother, alright, but there’s a reason!
Cinderella’s Vivian, the reason why evil became a prefix to stepmother, isn’t mindlessly harbouring contempt and malice towards Ella anymore
. A history of pain and tragedy mars and shapes her character, the result of which she inflicts inhumaneness and constraint over Ella. She was once an ambitious young woman just like Ella but was abandoned by her first love because of her ambition.
Make room for some diversity.
The ballroom sequence has been a spectacle through the countless Cinderella movies, but a look around the room would tell it really has been just a herd of white people. However, this time the ballroom is a fine spectacle, a podium to showcase diversity as we see people from across the far corners of the world representing people of different colours and races.
If applications on our phones can get an update, then why can’t fairytales? Children grow up watching these stories and draw conclusions and develop perspectives from these tales. We are raising them in the 21st century with stories still stuck in those archaic flaws; it’s about time we retold the tales and showed them how the real world ought to be.