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Brave

Okay you’ve been warned.

 

SPOILERS**************SPOILERS***********SPOILERS***********SPOILERS

 

 

 

 

Why didn’t BRAVE work?  It wasn’t bad it was just flat, and I think it was because they couldn’t decide who the movie was actually about.  It began as Merida’s movie, but then it became Elinor’s, and it is mom who ultimately defeats the big bad, and saves the day.  Yes, Merida repairs the tapestry, but the message is sort of strange — girl fixes problem by sewing.  Really?  As a girl who absolutely hates to sew it didn’t exactly work for me.

When you look at it the mother actually has a more powerful story arc then the daughter.   She also provides many of the solutions.  Not only fighting with the evil cursed bear, and figuring out that she could get the plinth to collapse to kill the ECB, but coaching Merida in her speech to the lords of the clans.  In fact Merida doesn’t actually do much in her own right.  She gets locked up and her little brothers get her out.  The will o’wisps lead her to the the witch and to almost every place she needs to be.  Why?  What is it about Merida that the wisps love her so much?

The writers also set things up that didn’t pay off.  They made much of the bow, and Merida’s abilities with said, but then it really didn’t play into the climax.  A needle was the save.  Not that I wanted redemptive violence, but I wanted thing to tie together.

I also thought they were going to do more with the angry young man who used the spell centuries before, and became a bear.  Just killing him felt too easy, too simple.  I was looking for Merida to find a way to free both bears.  Maybe a Lady Hawk kind of thing where occasionally the man would be free of the bear form, and work with Merida.  I don’t know, something more than what I got.

There was also the problem that I had with Snow White.  Maybe it’s the fantasy/princess setting, and maybe I’m just an incurable romantic, but I did want her to find a man of equal passion and power, and instead they deliberately made the suitors just figures of fun.  I kept wondering if the prince from long ago was that romantic interest or at least someone she could identify with and talk with.

And maybe because I had such a fraught relationship with my mother movies about mothers and daughters leave me a little cold.

At least for me I don’t think this was one of Pixar’s stronger films.

 

 

3 Responses to Brave

  • Still, I liked it. My problem was with the wisps

  • Melindas says:

    I didn’t mind the king, but just using him as the evil bear was so trite and unimaginative. I would have had Merida to maybe have to help him too, and learn the lesson about family love and loyalty. It was beautiful, but not one of Pixar’s stronger contenders.

  • Midnightchemist says:

    It wasn’t so much the repairing of the tapestry that broke the spell. Remember, the tapestry was torn during a heated arugment between mother and daughter – it was merely a metaphor for the emotional bonds between them that had torn. Both Merida and Elinor misunderstood the cryptic clue the witch had given them, assuming what was needed was a literal solution. Even after Merida fixed the tear, Elinor still remained a bear, and for a moment it looked as whatever was left of Elinor’s true self had finally slipped away. It was only after Merida said she was sorry, took responsibility for what had happened, and told her mother she loved her was the spell then broken.

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