A fairy tale taking on an unconventional turn (6B Chan Shun, Faith)


The Disney’s most recent released movie Cinderella just had a grand entrance to the Silver Green last Monday. Based on J. S. Merida’s comic series Princess of Power, the movie is directed by the impeccable world-renowned director Chris Wong, along with a powerful filming crew like the famous costume designer Mary Chan, stylist Peter Lee, camera director Jonathan Yip, etc.

We all know how the original version of Cinderella goes: the kind hearted and brave Cinderella, who has been badly treated for years by her wicked stepmother and stepsisters, gets the chance to go to the Prince’s Ball with the magical help of a fairy godmother, and although she meets some hurdles, eventually she lived happily ever after with the prince. However, under J. S. Merida’s rewriting, the fantastical story has taken on a little turn this time around.

In this version, Cinderella has still been living under her stepmother and stepsisters’ tough treatments for years, doing dirty chores and dirty work all day. One day the prince is inviting everyone in the town to a ball for him to pick a princess for him. However it is that a whipped fairy godmother from Anastania, a fairyland, is going to strike an attack on the ball. Under such danger, stepmother and stepsisters have no choice but to reveal the truth – Cinderella and they were from Anastania. They were three fairies from Anastania while Cinderella is a princess there. They were living there happily until the evil godmother attacked Anastania. Say had no choice but to flee in order to escape from the evil fairy godmother’s attack. They disguise their identities in order to protect Cinderella from getting noticed by anyone. Now that evil has returned once again, stepmothers and sisters know that she is after Cinderella and wants to take over this town. Desperately wanting to fight against the evil, yet lacking experience of using magic for years, they know they are no competition for the strong evil fairy godmother. Therefore, they decide to take a gamble on Cinderella. They grant her all the powers and hope that Cinderella can protect herself and the realm with their powers. Nevertheless those powers can only last till midnight that which means if Cinderella cannot destroy the fairy godmother by midnight, her and the whole realm will be doomed.

In an interview, the director Chris Wong expressed that he wanted to make this movie as he was captivated by this version of Cinderella on the J. S. Merida’s pen, and was eager to film it into a movie to bring this masterpiece to a wider audience. ‘This version is innovative and inspiring on so many levels,’ he said. ‘It’s breaks outdated stereotypes, and it teaches kids something more than living happily ever after.’

It is no lie. In older versions of princess fairy tales, stepmothers are always the ultimate villain. The princes are always the heros and all the princesses do is dressing prettily and dancing around and basically doing nothing until they get saved. It is a very patriarchal and women-disempowering message. Nevertheless, this time around, in this new version, stepmothers are on the good team and help Cinderella to save everyone. This kind of reverse of traditional assumption of stepmothers truly gives audience different views on them. Moreover, this time the prince is not the one to save and the princess is not the one to be saved. The roles are played just the other way round precisely. The princess is no longer doing nothing but actually be the heroine to fight for herself, and for the realm. This go against the stereotype that girls are weaker than boys, and that girls need to be saved by boys. This is the notion that collide with modern society’s.

In addition, by having the princess being portrayed as a heroine, this teaches our next generation that happily ever after doesn’t come to you automatically but we have to fight for it, instead of waiting for a fairy godmother to grant us a beautiful dress and pair of slippers in order to fall in love with the prince at first sight.

‘ I feel very empowered as a woman myself when I was playing Cinderella,’ the amazing actress Angelina Swift, who has been dedicated to raising women’s social status and embracing gender equality, proudly expressed in an interview. ‘I’m a princess but not in a visually appealing dress to make the prince fall in love with me, but a heroine in a super women jumpsuit to save everyone.’

This Cinderella has become the the number-one most-watched movie in every cinema around the world, and is still going strong. With such a triumph for Cinderella, Chris Wong expressed that there is a chance that he may carry on making J. S. Merida’s Princess of Power comic series into movies in the future. Looking forward to his great work to come.