Camila Cabello is taking her talents to the big screen in her acting debut in Sony Pictures’ “Cinderella.” This musical takes a new approach to the classic fairy tale. Ella, portrayed by Cabello, is a determined woman who aspires to open her own dress boutique. She is able to make her dreams come true with the help of her fairy godmother, referred to in the movie as “Fab G,” played by Billy Porter.
The film breaks the stereotype about princess films by encouraging women to speak for themselves. In her first acting role, Cabello does an adequate job portraying the character as awkward and enthusiastic despite the hurdles she faces. She wants to be able to plan and direct her own life rather than relying on others, and you can’t help but root for her from the beginning to the end of the film. I enjoyed some of her lines, which seemed to ridicule the genre. For example, when Fab G asks her to go to the ball, she responds with “Yes, I was just crying and singing about it like two minutes ago.”
Cabello is joined alongside by a talented supporting cast which includes Minnie Driver, Pierce Brosnan, James Corden and Idina Menzel, who plays the stepmother who provides her show-stopping vocals. Prince Robert was played by Nicholas Galitzine, a prince who has no desire to rule his kingdom. He meets Ella, and the rest is history. I didn’t feel a strong connection with Cabello and the other castmates, as the performances simply felt bland and underwhelming.
I wished to see more screen time from Porter, who proved to be my favorite character with his sass and musical numbers in his short screen time. I was hoping to see more from Porter and Menzel, as they are more experienced performers who are more deserving of lines than just twirling a wand or standing with their hands on their hips.
The musical numbers are not the music you hear from the Disney cartoon or the Broadway show. Instead, they do their own rendition of current and old pop hits such as “Let’s Get Loud,” “Rhythm Nation” and “Perfect.” You can’t help but sing along to the numbers. Some songs, like “Whatta Man” and “Am I Wrong,” fit the scene, but others, like “Seven Nation Army” and “Rhythm Nation,” were out of place because they were unrelated to the plot.
Despite the message and the stellar cast, the film didn’t blow me away as it was mediocre and felt similar to the countless other Cinderella retellings. Cabello does a decent job in her first acting role, but I believe the lead role should have gone to someone with more acting experience. Despite the comedic parts, the cringe level was significant because the actors tried too hard to get the laughs. It wasn’t the worst film, but it wasn’t the best either; it was simply adequate.