<script async src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js"></script> <!-- Showbiz Portal Bottom 1 300x250, created 10/15/10 --> <ins class="adsbygoogle" style="display:inline-block;width:300px;height:250px" data-ad-client="ca-pub-1272644781333770" data-ad-slot="2530175011"></ins> <script> (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); </script>
Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Aug 4, 2012

Brave Movie Review: About The Love-Hate Relationship Of A Princess With Her Queen Mother

‘BRAVE’ is made by Pixar that did “Finding Nemo”, “The Incredibles” and the “Toy Story” series, but it has all the elements of the usual Disney film with a strong heroine like “Beauty and the Beast”, “Mulan” and “Pocahontas”.

The red-haired heroine is Princess Merida (voice of Kelly Macdonald), the tomboyish eldest child and only daughter of Scottish King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson). Her dad spoiled her and raised her to be independent but her mom wants to her to be more ladylike and get married, which she disdains. She’d rather be with her horse, Angus, and practice with her bow and arrow.

When men from the Scottish clans are called to the Highland Games to find out who she’ll marry, Merida rebels and asks a wood carver of bears, who’s really a witch, to give her something that will change her mom’s mind. But this misfires and the queen is turned to a bear.

At the film’s start, it was shown that Merida as a child was almost killed by a black bear. King Fergus saved her, but lost one leg to the bear. Merida herself tells this story to her mischievous triplet brothers: Harris, Hubert and Hamish. Merida must now protect her mom from those who want to kill her mom-turned-bear. She must be able to reverse the curse in two days or her mom will be a bear forever.

It’s when her mom has become a bear that Merida gets to bond with her well, like when Elinor learns how to catch salmon in a funny sequence. The animation work is superb, with stunning landscapes of Scotland and the Standing Stones painted on screen. Beautiful visuals include Merida's red hair that seems to have a life of its own.
We just wish the pacing is faster as some viewers might some sequences rather tedious since Merida has no romantic interest and there’s no truly menacing villain like in other cartoon flicks. The main conflict here is the love-hate relationship between mother and daughter, and how they eventually learn to accept each other. But there’s a fight sequence between Elinor and a bigger, more ferocious bear that is quite excitingly staged.

"Brave" has a front act, “La Luna”, a short film nominated in the Oscars and is a simple story of traditions passed through generations. This is about a boy whose dad and grandpa teach him how to clean up the moon from falling stars. Beautifully conceived and executed, this alone is already worth the price of admission.