Wednesday, July 18, 2012

3 Thoughts on Brave

*very slight spoilers*

1. The comparisons to other Pixar Films - Truth be told, I'm not really a Disney-Pixar film fan.  I know, I know, that is considered blasphemy amongst film folk. I have nothing against them, but I would never rate any of them above 3 out of 5 stars.  As you may have noticed, I don't really do the whole "ratings" thing. Not only is it too difficult for me to do, but it also seems like such a definitive way to view a movie.  Reducing a film to a numerical score is a disservice to the film (and also to your own writing).  Sorry, you have to read actual words to know what my thoughts on a film are.  For me, Brave was more enjoyable than any other Pixar film before it, therefore I would "rate" it above the others, but from a critical standpoint it isn't necessarily better than any of them. 

2. The "feminist agenda" - I thought that I didn't care about the whole feminist aspect of the movie; Just because it is the first Pixar film centering around a female character didn't mean it would be a great feminist tale. The film is about Merida, voiced by the always delightful Kelly Macdonald, a princess who reaches that crucial point in her life where she must choose a husband in order to preserve the traditions of her kingdom.  I assumed it would follow along the lines of similar fairy tales (i.e - in the end she ends up marrying for love instead of what her family wants).  But in fact, there is no love story. Let me repeat that: THERE IS NO LOVE STORY!! Um.....what?! Crazy...right? Even when I think about some earlier Disney animated films that had strong female characters, like Mulan and Pocahontas, they always featured a love story in some way.   It's not surprising to me that there have been debates about Merida's sexual identity even though absolutely nothing in the movie gives reason for this debate to occur, except, of course, that she doesn't want to get married. We all know that if a woman doesn't want to conform to the marriage ideal, then she must not like men (where is that sarcasm font that everyone keeps talking about?).  Her sexuality is a moot point (a "cows opinion".  If you don't get that reference, we probably can't be "friends"). The point of the movie is that Merida is challenging tradition instead of accepting it.  As she says "Our fate lives within us.  You just have to be brave enough to see it." The film's message is to encourage people to think for themselves, come to their own conclusion and follow their own path.  In all honesty, the main character could have been male and the same story could have been told (but it has been...many times). 

3. The twist - The second half of the movie is a bit unexpected, which was a really nice surprise. That's all I can really say because I would never dream of ruining someone else's viewing experience.  I applaud the person that made the decision to not show the full plot in the trailer.

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