Monday, July 16, 2012

Brave, a review...

GUEST BLOG POST by Patrick O'Loughlin.

My boyfriend recently won tickets to see a preview of “Brave” at the Galway Film Festival this past Wednesday and brought me along. It’s been out in the States for the past few weeks but won’t hit Irish cinemas for another 3 so it was really cool to be in one of the first audiences in the country to see it.
“Brave” is Pixar’s 13th feature film and the studio’s first period piece. Whatever I was expecting “Brave” to be, my expectations were way off. The foundation of the story is that Merida (Kelly McDonald) is a princess who is destined to become married to a suitor. Her pushy mother, Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson) is adamant that this has to happen. Merida is too much of a free spirit for her life to be so determined for her by those around her out of her and tries her hardest to change her destiny. That’s ALL I’m going to say, because to say anymore would ruin the bizarre chain of events that run throughout the rest of the film.
I guess what I was expecting from this film was something different from Pixar. I thought it was going to be a lot more serious than the studio’s previous films and while it does indeed try to do this, the absurdity which ensues kind of turns the film into something more formulaic. On one hand it feels like the old Disney films like Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and Robin Hood while on the other, it feels like something I’ve seen many times before (albeit in a fresh enough way). I don’t want to go into too much detail in case someone by chance actually manages to read this and hasn’t seen the film, but once you see it I think you’ll understand. Or maybe not. It’s just like, my opinion, man.
My intent is not to bash this film, however. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I guess I just can’t ignore some of its faults. The high points were the voice acting, the animation, the 3D (I saw this in Dolby Digital 3D) and how surprisingly deep it is in some parts. The cons were the somewhat out of place second half of the film with regards to the first half (which I did enjoy don’t get me wrong, it just felt kind of clunky and didn’t gel too well) and Merida’s 3 little brothers. They just flat out annoyed me.
All in all I do recommend this film quite highly. But if you’re going in expecting something drastically different from Pixar’s previous efforts, than you might be a little disappointed. Either way, I think you’re going to have a good time.

Patrick O'Loughlin is an aspiring screen writer. He has a passion for foreign languages, Sumo Sundays at Yo-Sushi and fluffy bunny rabbits. You can find more of his interests and insights on his blog, The Lights Still On.

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