Monday, September 24, 2012

Brave - The Re(al) - view

Brave is a very unique film ... the good kind that is, afterall its a Pixar movie! Yes, its story doesn't have the profoundness of Up, nor as groundbreaking as Ratatouille and The Incredibles; but still Brave is quite a lovley movie and frankly a breath of fresh air from all the conventional Disney princess/love themed movies of past and recent ... Tangled anyone?

After reading a couple of reviews, I've discovered that people often forget that Pixar primarily makes animated movies that appeal to kids, the secondary is that these movies have also been made in a manner that simultaneously captures the attention of adults as well; therefore reading that Brave is too kid-centric is quite sad (Newsflash - so are the other Pixar movies).

Now back to its uniqueness, first is the story - the plot was closely guided, because I can remember watching the trailers and trying to put together a story that may just soothe me before the movie comes out. But by the time the movie was over, I was stunned! Yes, I was still trying to figure out the whole magic thing with Mor'du, but then I could have taken a million guesses and not come up with the plot. Brave started out as expected with the revealing of Merida's strong will and her rebellion against her more conventional mother, Queen Elinor. When carefully considered this appears to be the primary plot of the movie, and while there were princes in the movie, none of them presented to be charming, not even in the mildest manner. The only downside is the magical twist to the plot felt more like a patchwork, perhaps a segue was needed.

These Lords had sons and they were NOT charming.
The characters have to be the best part of the movie, never have I so much scottishness looking so awesome! Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald) is quite the princess, she is stubborn (which she got from her mother) and has the attitude of a viking (which she ... when you see her father, you'll get it). The tug of war between Merida and Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson) was a delight to watch, the stubborness was so hilarious, that even after Elinor became a bear, yes a Bear! It moved from a mother/daughter vocal sparring to a bear giving ettiquette tips (here I saw Pixar's genius at work).
Then we've got the men - King Fergus ,who in my opinion, the movie's funniest character, voiced by the hilarious Billy Connolly, the three suitors and their fathers, Lords Dingwall, MacGuffin and Macintosh; and the triplets - were literally crude and funny. Their interactions were literal LOL moments, and these guys were in way charming, not even the princes.
 Even the animals were quite interesting to watch, from Mor'du's viciousness, to Angus' (Merida's horse) wits and The Crow ... je ne sais quoi.

While the Characters were hilarious (looks and all), the animation was amazing - from the scenery which brought out the best of the Scottish highlands, Brave maybe confused with just any other fantasy, but with the introduction of the will-o'-the-wisp (the wierd blue light thing in the forest) added a touch of dark mystry and Merida's fiery red hair just tells us more about her personality and the similarity she shares with her siblings and her warrior king father, the ruins of Mor'du's castle and the menhirs (upright standing stone) that formed a circle adds to that grim enchantment, which gives a somewhat reminder of Stonehenge.

In addition, a great movie is always associated with awesome soundtracks and again Brave scores high, with songs from Julie Fowlis, Mumford & Sons, Birdy; Patrick Doyle composed some really enchanting music.

In a way Brave is not at par with Pixar's best movies, but it definitely stands out as their first fairytale without the clich├ęd romantic subplot. This is a mother - daughter story, mixed with lots of very crude and scottish man, boys and a bear. At first, Queen Elinor and Merida are portrayed as polar opposites but in actuality, they just needed to listen intentively to one another.

This is a mature movie that will leave you wanting to give mum a big hug. Thanks Pixar.

PS: Thank God Reese Witherspoon declined Merida's role.