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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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A feminist man sometimes seems like an oxymoron, but maybe there are some out there. How is it to be married to a feminist man?
How is it to be married to a feminist man?
This is a working list. Will keep adding to it.
Do you also have a feminist man at home? And if yes, what is it to be married to him? Do share.
"There is a story and a vision which makes us gravitate towards cinema. Even as we worked as assistants on ads, we realised that cinema was our true calling," say Gunpreet Kaur Mann and Deepali Singh Raseen.
The Railway Men. Mili. Cuttputli. The Diplomat. Bade Miyan Chote Miyan. And more…
Let me introduce to you the talented designer duo who have worked on these, and can be considered today’s upcoming costume designers for the screen. Gunpreet Kaur Mann and Deepali Singh.
Having studied at NIFT, Gunpreet Kaur Mann sent her portfolio out to several designers. Her first gig was as an assistant stylist with Manoshi and Rushi, who also happen to be a designer duo. She worked on an ad film starring Saif Ali Khan and eventually landed a full time job with designer Vikram Phadnis. Years of experience as assistant costume designer followed, which eventually led her to getting a break.
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