Austin Burke’s review published on Letterboxd:
A modern movie musical with a bold take on the classic fairy tale. Our ambitious heroine has big dreams and with the help of her fab Godmother, she perseveres to make them come true.
I love Letterboxd. I love it because I don’t have to watch (as many) people whine about you disagreeing with them. Other platforms feature a lot of that, but movies are subjective, and we should treat them as such. It is also odd that this film (of all films) is one that people are so passionately defending. To be honest, it isn’t all bad, but there are so many things about this new Cinderella that feel like a missed or botched opportunity. A few passionate performances by Billy Porter and Idina Menzel cannot keep it from falling on its face. Cabello is fine, and she is clearly a talented singer, but I did not buy certain things about her performance. I also could not get behind the fact that this iconic period piece features modern songs that we have heard before. This is fine if we get an interesting spin or different meaning behind whatever song the film is using, but every version we get is just a “not as good” version of the original. The songs also have no flow whatsoever.
My above statement also sums up my thoughts on the film as a whole. This is a “not as good” version of the classic story. It feels like every decision to make it more modern takes away from the charm of the movie. Certain themes have good intentions, but the execution is consistently mishandled. My non-tragic rating comes from musical numbers themselves. The choreography is great, the fantastical feeling is there, and everyone does a good job with what they are given. Again, the overall cast isn’t a tragedy, but there is plenty about what they are given that comes across as awkward. The Musical aspect of this Musical ends up being what pulls it in different directions. It just needed original songs, but even with that, the Disney channel original feel to the film is a hard flaw to make up for. This movie absolutely has an audience, so my opening statement wasn’t meant to rip on them, but I am just not sure if this is the next music-filled masterpiece. It is far closer to a disaster than a masterpiece, but there are moments that will inevitably make you smile.
🔙Afterlife of the Party