Friday night, my roommates and I saw the newest edition to the echelon of Pixar movies, Brave. It’s caught a lot of attention for the fact that it is the first Pixar feature with a female protagonist, a young, fiery, red-headed girl named Merida.
The animation (as usual with Pixar films) was superb, and the sweeping landscapes of ancient Scotia were beautiful. The music from Patrick Doyle was, all in all, very well done. Additionally, the movie had some very entertaining and humorous scenes that at least got me laughing pretty hard. A few of the characters had well-developed personalities, like the king (Billy Connolly) and the triplet princes. Also, as a proud Ginger, it was good to see my kind represented! As a ‘good’ movie, that’s about all I can say for it.
Unfortunately, the plot wasn’t too creative (I’ll try to not give too much away!) Basically, it involves a young princess, failing to meet the strict expectations of her mother, the queen. It’s pretty much the old tune of the parents keeping the kid ‘down’ with tradition and strict guidelines, while the child wants to be ‘free’ to choose her own course. The central problem of the entire story is a “failure to communicate” between the daughter and the mother. Put simply, the message of the film is to “follow your heart” and pursue your own destiny, even if your family expects something else from you; not always the best advice to send out to the next generation of young minds.
It was definitely a ‘pro-female’ movie (which I don’t think is necessarily bad). All the men were basically idiots, who couldn’t wait for the next chance to start another brawl. In the relationship between the king and queen, you definitely see how it was the queen running the show, as the king was fairly incompetent in doing anything else besides fighting. It was also only the queen that discussed the “important things” with their daughter. I know it’s supposed to be a comedic portrayal of men, but all movies comedically exaggerate what is already at least partially a reality in societies. That’s a cause for fear concerning the state of guys in our time.
The films understanding of reality was also pretty questionable. Basically, you can alter your fate, but, as is usually the case, it would have been better if you hadn’t tried. Merida succeeds in altering her destiny, but we can always ask if it was her destiny to alter the course of her destiny! I know, ten-year-olds aren’t supposed to think about such questions, but if I met a ten-year-old thinking about that question, I would definitely give them a high-five.
Of course, the experience wasn’t a total waste of time. I got to see the new Monsters Inc. and Hobbit trailers on the big screen. The film also gave my roommates and I an excuse to talk in Scottish accents for some time afterwards (even thought its arguable that no excuses are ever needed) That alone made it worth it. I’d probably give the film a C, one of those movies to see on DVD when it comes out.