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Cinderella in the basement isn't much in contrast to the princesses in the magnificent palace - restricted, silenced and trapped - so she speaks up for herself. An amazing, empowering new version of this fairytale.
Cinderella in the basement isn’t much in contrast to the princesses in the magnificent palace – restricted, silenced and trapped – so she speaks up for herself. An amazing, empowering new version of this fairytale.
“Every girl is worth more when she smiles,” says Vivian, Cinderella’s stepmother. Some girls smile when they find an able suitor and have his beautiful kids. Some smile while doing their household work. Some smile when they find their dream job or start their dream business. Some smile when they travel.
When Disney released the trailer of Cinderella (2021) last month, I was impatiently and fervently hoping they keep the charm alive, while retelling it for today’s time.
“What matters is how you feel when you look into the mirror,” said Cinderella. And here go centuries of beauty standards and conditioning, back to place.
Though we were enchanted by fairytales as kids, we know better now. Centuries ago, women didn’t have any agency except as the other-beautiful-half. Of late, there is ample criticism about how fairytales foster beauty standards, limit the idea of ‘woman’ and disregard consent. People have reimagined fairytales where the girls had minds of their own. A re-imagination of Cinderella is right here!
This Cinderella 2.0, or Cinderella 2021, reckons the idea of a ‘ball’ is weird and antiquated. She agrees only when the prince (in disguise) promises to find her customers who’d love her dresses. She thinks he is cute – not because he’s the prince but because he supports her business. Cinderella in the basement isn’t much in contrast to the princesses in the magnificent palace – restricted, silenced and trapped. Except that the former designs her own dresses than buy them from world-renowed designers.
I’m elated to tell you that the movie doesn’t revolve around the ballroom and the wedding. She chooses herself over everything, again and again.
Along with Cinderella, there’s another noteworthy character, Princess Gwen. Gwen has an empathetic understanding of the economy. She often talks about her plans for the kingdom, hiding behind the enormous statues and paintings of the palace. Despite her acumen, she is never heard or recognised by others, because she isn’t the king’s SON. Yet she proves that a queen doesn’t have to be the king’s wife alone – she can rule too.
The movie is beautifully and aesthetically set, putting a mirror to the big aspirations of small town women. Be it the spiteful stepmother or the queen with the plastic smile, they all want the same – to speak and be heard.
“Playing dress up begins at age 5 and never truly ends,” says Kate Spade. Ella’s dress designs aren’t just something to wear – they are her creation. They are her fantasies that she aims to bring to life. Each dress she designs, has a touch of herself. How would she abandon all this to stand in a confined balcony and wave at people mechanically? No way.
‘Dresses by Ella’ sounds more interesting and exciting than ‘Queen Ella’. Even her prince supports her and rebels against the customs, for he knows how it is to be a misfit.
I commanded my fingers not to give spoilers but I can’t stop myself from saying, when Ella makes her first appearance at the palace, she has a Kajol’s gamlaa kind of entry. Now if you don’t know the gamlaa scene from K3G – oh, you know.
Camilla Cabello has a dreamy debut with a powerful role that provides immense scope. It is a romantic musical so expect a lot of music and dance and some magic. Because, you aren’t too old to believe in magic, are you?
Cinderella, directed for the screen by Kay Cannon, adopted from Cinderella, is now on Amazon Prime.
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"I chose to go out into the remote, wild, unknown, and make it home," says entrepreneur Kiranjeet Ahluwalia Chaturvedi, who owns Birdsong & Beyond.
The story of my mountain home Birdsong & Beyond started taking shape in 2009, on the internet, the way many stories do these days.
My childhood fascination for a life in the Himalayas led to an internship with a central Himalayan NGO instead of a much prized corporate assignment. But when they offered me a full-time job, I refused. I was overcome by fear and a lack of confidence.
My other longings pulled me away – the longing to fit in, to earn validation from others. By my mid-30s, with all the trappings of a middle-class urban life in place, the call of the snows couldn’t be ignored anymore. So I got to work on it with clearer intentions and a stronger sense of what I needed for myself, and why.
Chetan Bhagat had no business slut shaming Uorfi Javed or any other woman. If he wants to 'guide' young men in the 'right direction' then he should take accountability for his words.
Chetan Bhagat, one of India’s bestselling authors, thought it was an ingenious idea to slut-shame Uorfi Javed, an Indian actress and influencer, at the Sahitya Aaj Tak literature festival.
“Phone has been a great distraction for the youth, especially the boys, spending hours just watching Instagram Reels. Everyone knows who Uorfi Javed is. What will you do with her photos? Is it coming in your exams or you will go for a job interview and tell the interviewer that you know all her outfits? On one side, there is a youth who is protecting our nation at Kargil and on another side, we have another youth who is seeing Uorfi Javed’s photos hiding in their blankets.”
Uorfi Javed responded with a video on her Instagram stories calling out Bhagat’s bluff. She shared the screenshots of his previous chat conversations with Ira Trivedi, author and yoga instructor, which came to light during the #MeToo movement.
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