This 4th of July weekend, Mike and Katie watched a movie about Scottish people and bears. You know, just like our forefathers celebrated our independence!
Since I only have a few things to say about the movie outside of my points in the video, I’ll be keeping this pretty short.
First, I thoroughly enjoyed La Luna, the Pixar short accompanying Brave. It worked purely on visuals and body language to tell a very universal story with a fantasy touch. It’s interesting to me that the short reminded me both of Super Mario Galaxy and The Little Prince. The music and sound work is pretty incredible and added so much to the short. I highly recommend.
On to the actual movie after the jump (warning: spoilers).
What the movie struggles with is the pacing. They do such a good job setting up characters, but by the time the spell goes through it feels like we should be farther in the movie. Likewise, there were really three different resolutions and it made the end of the movie seem to stretch out as well. Then we get to the main plot itself, which is unexpected thanks to the trailers not bringing up the last half of the movie, but the plot is maybe a tad bit cliche at least in the “serious character gets a body switch and learns a lesson” sense. Having so much of Queen Bear be so goofy just didn’t keep me interested, although they did a very good job getting across what she’s trying to say through body language alone.
What I did like about it was that the filmmakers brought us a
family-friendly story about a heroine and her mother instead of a
heroine and her love interest. Merida doesn’t fall in love and she’s never forced to be married by either her parents or the writers! She also never really has to be saved except for at
the end and that was a giant bear that all the men in the story
couldn’t take on together! They never made her the victim in her own story and I was eternally grateful for that.
Even when it didn’t quite work, the parts that did work (the family dynamic, the way they showed both points of view as valid, how her mother is a pillar of strength for the entire region) I really enjoyed. And even though it did slow the movie down, the first scene where we’re introduced to a younger, much more relaxed version of the Queen playing with her daughter is really the perfect introduction to these characters and sets up the main themes of the movie quite well. So what it lacked in pacing it did make up for in character development, which is why its a flawed but enjoyable film.
With the gorgeous visuals, the amazing soundtrack and a heroine that is the hero of her own story, Brave is highly recommended even with its shortcomings. Bring your daughters and sons to see this.
3 1/2 out of 5