Saturday, September 8, 2012

Brave thoughts [rant]

Yeah, I'm a copy cat.  A friend reviewed Brave.  I'd been meaning to do the same, but I didn't put fingers to keys until she did.  Oh well.

Brave was a fantastic, beautiful movie that everyone should see.  More talented people that I have reviewed this movie, so I'm not going to.  But I had three issues with the movie that I haven't seen anyone else mention.  Maybe this isn't the place for it, but here we go:


1) I never felt like Merida was the star of her own movie.  Just when I was getting comfortable with her character on screen, Queen Elinor stole the show and never gave it back.  The best example of this is the ending.  Merida doesn't get to have a showdown with Mor'du, the movie's antagonist.  Queen Elinor is the one who fights and defeats him.  I would have loved to see the two take equal part in the battle, but it just didn't happen and I HATED that.

I think Brave could have been a better story if it focused on Queen Elinor from the start, or if the creators of the movie put Merida and her mother in a situation where they both had the same risks/rewards.  As it stands, Elinor had the worst of it.  If Merida didn't reverse the curse, Elinor would remain a bear forever and Merida would have one heckuva guilty conscience.  So fairly early on in the movie, I feel more sympathy for Queen Elinor and I'm mad at Merida for putting her in this situation.  I don't think this is what the creators were going for.

2.  The creators didn't take advantage of this huge world they created.  We get sweeping views of a vast country and we hear about other clans yet Merida never travels more than 10 miles from her house.  (Ok, that's a random number I pulled from the sky, but you get my meaning).  It would have been nice to see Merida and her mother travel to more places than the cabin and the ruins.  It also would would have been nice to see more from Merida's three suitors and their clans.  To those who would argue that you can only get so much into one movie, I call BS.  Look at how many unique locations they had in The Incredibles, or even A Bug's Life.

3.  Mor'du is the most random, USELESS antagonist ever.  I don't think his character was integrated into the story well.  In my opinion, his presence in the movie wasn't needed at all.  If the witch who gave Merida the cursed pie said, "to break the spell, you need a tooth of Mor'du!!" or something random like that, I'd get it.  As it stands, I feel like he was just there to add an element of action and danger to the movie.  That in and of itself isn't a bad thing, but I just felt like he was tacked on as an afterthought.

Nitpicking issue 3.5:  Why is it that whenever a woman is a lead in an animated feature, there's an issue with marriage/a man (i.e. Jasmine, Cinderella, Ariel, Belle, [I can keep going]) .  Why couldn't the issue be something more interesting?  Leave behind her dreams of freedom and leading the clan?  Not wanting to go through a rite-of-passage ritual of killing a bear (which, by the way, would have been a fun way to introduce and explain Mor'du).  Heck, I could have settled for Merida not wanting to take up tap-dancing.  But no, the straw that broke the camels back was the thought of an arranged marriage.

Shoot me.

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