This is not going to be a full-fledged movie review like Roger Ebert would do. It’s simply a few comments on the movie, Brave.
You may remember my recent post concerning Disney’s registration of the DunBroch tartan that was used in Brave. Well, I’m in Hopewell, VA this weekend and since Hopewell has not been a “happening place” for 45 years – some folks will say that it never was to begin with – I decided to catch the late screening of Brave over at the Regal in Colonial Heights.
I chose the 3-D version and while there was nothing really spectacular or unusual in those effects, it did add to the overall experience.
I must say that I loved Brave from the get-go and not simply because two of my favourite actresses – Kelly Macdonald & Emma Thompson – were voicing the heroine and her mother. (For the sake of full disclosure, I will confess that I wouldn’t mind listening Kelly Macdonald read the Glasgow phone directory.) The CGI work was superb and the backdrop for this tale did make me rather hame-sick. The story line itself will be familiar to most daughters & mothers – at least to my wife, anyway – and that is the age-old battle between the two when mother tries to inculcate mature, lady-like qualities in her daughter who has other ideas about what a lady should be.
While the story will, no doubt, resonate amongst the fairer sex, there is enough comedic fodder to be found in the male characters that most laddies – wee and not so wee – will enjoy it as well. I read the review on the Common Sense Media website and found that in the “Sexy stuff” category, the movie was noted for its clansmen being naked under their kilts, (Aren’t we ALL naked under our clothes???) a few bare bums and a servant with a generous helping of cleavage. All this is hardly ground-breaking and only full-blown prudes, members of the Family Research Council & the totally sheltered will find anything to be offended by. [Yes, I know I ended a sentence with a preposition but, actually, that rule applies only to Latin so get over it!!]
The film is definitely kid-friendly though 8 years should probably about the youngest age of potential viewers. There are some scary sequences that might upset your wee. On the other hand, I’ve seen 6-year old’s thrive on scary stuff and beg for more. At the end of the day, parents should take in to account what their children are used to seeing or reading about before making a final go or no-go decision.
There are a few factual errors, though. For example, the queen is seen eating with a fork centuries before such implements actually came into use. Another is the allied clan chiefs bragging about their eldest sons’ valour against Romans and Vikings when the individual presence of those two groups in Scotland is separated by about 200 years. Finally, there is the notion of kilts and clan tartans well over half a millennia before that sort of thing made its appearance in Scotland.
Nit-pickers should get over it as Brave is e-n-t-e-r-t-a-i-n-m-e-n-t and not a d-o-c-u-m-e-n-t-a-r-y. Moreover, Disney Studios have a habit of playing fast and loose with the truth. Just ask them about Lemmings!
In the final analysis, Brave is a good and entertaining family movie as well as a fun way to escape from the heat. Older viewers will enjoy the humor to be found in such things as the strong dramatic resemblance between Lord Dingwall’s son – Wee Dingwall – and Terry Jones’ portrayal of Prince Herbert in Monty Python & the Holy Grail.