Guest Post by Victoria Findley: Review of the Movie “Brave”

Synopsis:

A tale of a fiery headed princess determined to be independent of any authority at any cost.

Summary (spoilers)

Merida is the eldest daughter of a King and Queen Elinor. Father rescued her from an evil bear at an early age. She is taught school and ladyhood by her mother and taught how to shoot an arrow, fight, hunt and ride by her father. Her mother tells her how important her marriage is to unify the clans and tells the story of a brother that destroyed others because he refused to work in unity with his brothers. However, she rejects the proposals by suitors from other clans. Her mother and father (who thinks the young men are not worth much, rightly so, but still knows the clans must be united as promised by marriage) have set them up for her. She defeats their plan  by winning the archery contest to deny any suitors.

Merida and her mother fight, refusing to listen to each other, causing the daughter to destroy a tapestry of the family. The mother in anger threw Merida’s bow into the fire. Daughter runs off in anger, mother angry, but pulls bow out of the fire. Instead of the daughter repenting, she follows spirits/wisps (aka fate changers) and makes a deal with a witch to change her mother. the witch gave her a potion for her mother to eat. Meanwhile Father hosts the deserted men and clans, while the daughter tricks her mother by offering the food as a peace offering, which turns her mother into a bear. Because her father hates bears because of the evil bear that attack them early on, the daughter sneaks her mother/bear out of the castle while father and clans chase them around. Meanwhile her triplet brothers eat remains of the food and also turn into bears. The daughter still insists the whole time that she hasn’t done anything wrong. Daughter tries to find the witch again in order to turn her mom back. Meanwhile her mother feels so helpless as a bear since she was anti-weapons, fighting or hunting, since it she considered it ‘unladylike’. The daughter finds the witch’s house but the witch is not there and leaves a message that unless she remembers these words: “Fate be change, mend the bond, torn by pride” her mother’s fate will be permanent.

While mother bear and daughter hide in the rainy woods, daughter remembers the love mom had shown. Mother and daughter bond as daughter teaches her how to survive and not to be too dependent on being proper in the woods. However mom is slowly turning into a real bear on the inside. Wisps show up again and show mother and daughter the old and fallen home of brothers from the story her mom told earlier. Then daughter realizes that the big evil bear that her father hates used to be the oldest brother. He had also gone to the witch and asked her to give him the strength of ten men so she turned him into a bear. The bear was at the ruins and chased them off.

The daughter realized that tapestry was the bond that was broken (torn by pride) and needed to be mended. Mother and daughter get back to the castle and the daughter skillfully talked to the clans like a lady. They were were beginning to fight among themselves because she did not give an answer yet. She reminded them that they chose to be united because of friendship and loyalty not just because of marriages. However, father finds mama bear, not knowing it was his wife and chased it down. Mother and father fight off evil bear and spell is broken when Merida says “I’m sorry and it was all my fault.”. The sons and Merida all agree to only marry for love providing the clans agree to stay united otherwise and they do.

Objectionable parts: some male nudity (butts), traditions were made to be broken, follow your heart instead, father and other men come off as nutcases and goofballs, being a lady is overrated.

Excellent parts: daughter admits she was wrong and has to work hard to change the consequences, parents love each other and their children, father is the leader of the family and clans do respect him, hunting and weapons are not bad, making deals with a witch is dangerous, excellent 3-D animations, parents may be hard but they love their children, repentance is the first step to fixing serious problems.

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