I really enjoyed Brave. It had a happy ending without a marriage, but since that wasnít the point of the story, itís no big deal, that that wasnít there. Itís a mother-daughter story, which we just donít get to see very often.
The introduction was so sweet, a beautiful picnic for the birthday girl. We see the love Eleanor has for Merida and her need for propriety. And who would expect an ancient legend to step out of the woods just then.
Then we go to princess lessons, which really arenít that awful, though Merida thinks they are. Especially when compared to the kind of day she prefers having. Merida does come off as a bratty, rebellious teenager, which is not a surprise. Eleanor looks like the perfect queen, but by the end we know Eleanor doesnít feel that way, she is trying so hard to be a good queen and she is trying to teach Merida to be the perfect princess so Merida doesnít have to feel like she does.
That is what makes the dressing scene so touching, for a moment Eleanor has that perfect moment she is the loving mom again, even Merida feels it, but of course the Mom hides behind the Queen, because that is who she is supposed to be.
We then get to the conflict and itís the Queen versus the Teenager. And it is awful. Heartbreaking really, because you know they donít really want this. They talked it out, though not in the same room. From the trailers I knew there was going to be a terrible falling out. I just didnít think it would go so far. It needed to to get Merida to the witchís hut, but it was hard to watch. So Merida gets the spell, that was supposed to change her motherís mind about the wedding. Which doesnít work like she expects. But she cares. They both do.
But the most tragic scene was the Queen putting her crown on. It shows us just how invested she was in being the perfect queen and now she was as far from that as you could be.
The one scene that felt like it was too drawn out was the stream. They are on a timer, they know they are on a timer and they are stopping to eat!?
And thatís another thing, the movie was a great story that was honestly funny in places but there were so many bad jokes shoehorned in, it was frankly distracting.
Brave makes a powerful fairy tale, about another kind of true love, the love of family, which is a good thing right now.