bluejeans07: (Me- I know not)
[personal profile] bluejeans07
Cut for spoilers!

Okay, putting aside controversy aside for a second and just focusing on the movie as a whole. If I had to put it into the shortest review possible, it'd be that it lacked satisfaction. The movie wasn't terrible, there were lots of enjoyable moments, but overall, the stakes didn't feel high enough and there weren't enough obstacles. It also took way too long for the movie to get to the actual plot and it didn't explain clearly enough WHY it was so important for Merida to get married. Basically, we were told she had to get married because of politics, but it wasn't clear what the politics were aside from the clans not having to be selfish. Apparently the politics and the clans are related in some way to some ancient clan, but the ancient clan didn't last long because of one selfish brother ended up wrecking the ancient clan. Or something. Anyway, Merida and her mother didn't have enough obstacles to make the ending really satisfying. Also, some of the gags went on waaay too long. And there was a character who was basically a screaming pair of tits that I was like... why are you here in this movie, go back to the second Indiana Jones movie where you belong.

Things that were good about the movie: the vocal performances were fantastic, lots of lovely, expressive acting! There were also really great sight gags, beautiful art direction, and of course great animation. And MERIDA's LONG FLOWING LOCKS OF HAIR. So pretty~ so lovely to see them get wet and messy and also fluffy and dry. And the bear fight at the end. And the moment Merida and her dad fight, damn that girl is a badass. Also the fail witch... who can only make things related to bears... LAWL.

Going back to the controversy... well, one reviewer had to complain that there wasn't a strong male role model in the movie. My response is that there didn't need to be, and if he's so insistent on there being one, I say he look at Merida's triplet brothers. Those boys are going to make AWESOME strategists, they have their entire castle mapped out, they have plans of attack that are also open for improvisation, they are clever little buggers who always figure out a way to succeed together and get what they want. Yes, they are a handful, and yes they are young, but these are SMART, inventive boys whose actions spoke more than any words. There's your goddamn male role model!

Also, the other controversy... I really want to know what Brenda Chapman's original story was like. I wasn't satisfied with Brave and mentally I was comparing it to Finding Nemo which was Pixar's father/son story and finding it falling short. This was meant to be a personal story for Chapman, based on her relationship with her own daughter, and while I did like some of the mother/daughter moments in the film, I did feel like it all got resolved rather easily and there were a lot of things either unshown or unexplained that were important to the plot (ie why Merida had to get married, what did Fergus and Eleanor had to sacrifice, how the legend clan relates to the clans in the movie, etc.)

Overall... bit disappointed with the film. Since it's Pixar's first lead female heroine and since Merida is in fact a badass, I really wanted it to be good. Instead it was just okay, nice movie for kids I guess but unsatisfying for someone who expected Prince of Egypt and got Sinbad instead.

Date: 2012-06-23 07:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, I'm kinda with you, but it wasn't the marriage thing that bugged me. It was the whole mythology thing with the villain. If mom had once been a bear and that's how they know where the witch's house was, or knowing why the villain was turned into a bear and having it somehow related to why mom was, that would have made for a much more satisfying movie.

Also, the witch, STRAIGHT out of Spirited Away in design.

I'd give the movie 3.5/5 stars for sheer beauty alone. It could have gotten up to 4 or 4.5 with better story elements, and 5 with more of the triplets. I'm betting we see shorts with the triplets.

Date: 2012-06-23 08:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
knowing why the villain was turned into a bear and having it somehow related to why mom was

... Because someone came to the witch to try and change their fate? In the first case, the prince had done so for himself; in the second case Merida's actions caused the change in someone, else, but it was the same motivation that did it. I thought. Perhaps I got it wrong?

Date: 2012-06-23 09:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think you got it right, the motivation to change their fate was enough to get the lead into the witch's cottage. The prince could control his own fate, but because Merida's fate lay with her mother, she had to get something to change Eleanor.

I do agree that the mythology could have been told more clearly though.

Date: 2012-06-24 12:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, makes some sense, but would have preferred it be a little more explicit, or better yet, something more "cosmic" something more fairy tale meaningful, something more "moral of the story'-ish.


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