Brave (Flick’s Review)

Posted on | July 7, 2012 | 2 Comments

4 stars

Merida, a young up-and-coming princess wishes she could do things her way. But her mother, the Queen, raises Merida as a noble princess. So, after learning she will have to be married to someone, not by her choice, she asks a witch to “change her fate.” The results are unexpected.

Brave is a movie about wanting to be different. It’s about Merida breaking out of the small must-do-this box the Queen (her mother) has set up. Truly, the movie is about many different things, but this is the core, the underlying theme: it’s what the movie revolves around. It may have been done before (Fiddler on the Roof: “TRADITION!”), and yet it’s interesting to see Pixar’s version, a studio that always brings something new to the table.

The story has a couple of different meanings, but unlike, for example, the Toy Story films, there is only one central plot. All of the Toy Story films were ensemble movies and each toy had their own story. (That’s why it’s called Toy Story.) Differently in Brave, there are no numerous subplots that give unlimited depth. If I watched Brave again (soon), I am sure I would not notice no more than three new things.

As with every Pixar film, the voice cast is wonderful: Kelly Macdonald, Emma Thompson, Billy Connoly, Robbie Coltrane, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson, and (of course) John Ratzenberger (for the first time ever I couldn’t recognize him). They all nail the Scottish accents perfectly. Also, the visuals here are very different from the usual style. They are old fashioned. The shots take in quite a bit at a time. This is a different approach, one that those who obsess over Pixar will not be used to. Nonetheless it works very well, mostly because it fits just right for this film.Brenda Chapman was the original director for the film, but somewhere during the production, something went wrong… so they changed the director to Mark Andrews. It could be because of that the story isn’t multilayered (I don’t think Pixar has ever switched directors in the middle of production before). This is nowhere near as good as Pixar’s best: the Toy Story films, The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, WALL-E, Up, and more, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any interesting visuals or morals, for that matter there are.

My favorite character is Merida because of her enthusiasm, hunger to go on an adventure, and the feeling she has, that she has to put things right.

My favorite scene is a scene in the middle of the film (after the spell) when Merida and her mother, the Queen are playing in a pond because it could have turned into an overly sentimental scene filled with an overdose of cheesy schlock, but, (sigh) it’s not. Instead, it’s sadly unique and evolves the characters in a brilliant, subtle way.

Brave is rated PG for scary images and rude humor and I agree.

It doesn’t compare with Pixar’s best, but it still is visually and morally fun. As they say: “be happy with what you’ve got.” And while at the beginning of the film Merida isn’t, I am. Keep it coming Pixar.


2 Responses to “Brave (Flick’s Review)”

  1. Joshua Relyea
    August 8th, 2012 @ 4:22 pm

    Hi Flick! This is Josh! I just went to see Brave today and I loved it! Great review!

  2. flickflack
    August 8th, 2012 @ 5:04 pm

    What about comparing it to other Pixar films? Pixar is by far one of the best modern film studios, in my opinion. Usually you categorize films by actors and directors, etc., but almost every Pixar film is great (besides those in recent years). I would consider Brave an improvement on Cars 2, but still, it’s no Toy Story trilogy. Then again, those are only my thoughts; the point of my comment is to ask where Brave falls on your scale. Thanks for the comment!
    From, Flick

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