Lake Oconee Breeze

On the Screen

June 28, 2012

‘Brave’ a beautiful, charming treat


Rated PG for some scary action and rude humor


On the morning of seeing “Brave,” I awoke with feelings of dread, foreboding and acute anxiety. And, for once, it wasn’t because my film chaperone was, yet again, generously sharing her observations concerning the obscene hour from which I arose from bed. It was because I had a premonition that an evil corporation — which shall remain initial-less (and continues to control all of my cyber communication) was plotting to destroy my day. I spent four hours listening to outsource employees deny the obvious in order to defend the company from justifiable accusations of providing crummy service and for paying executives undeserved bonuses. In short, I was in a very bad mood; a bad mood indeed.   

Ironically, I wanted to see “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” — no, seriously — I did, but I was afraid nobody would believe me if I wrote that I liked it, or, if I hated it, would wonder what did I expect? UPDATE: I saw it, and it is horrible. The book is a hoot; the film is moronic; an absolute embarrassment.

So, in I go — into the darkened theater — to see the 2D version of Disney’s animated tale of a comely-lass; a feminist, no less, who grows up in the Middle Ages, someplace resembling Scotland.

First, let me inform you that the animation is astounding. There is a simple scene where the young Princess Merida runs to her father King Fergus. That hip-twist and giggle of a happy girl to run to her beloved father is unmistakable — and the animators capture that touching movement to utter perfection. And her kinky, bouncy, flame-red hair looks and moves better than life-like hair. The artistry and technology is a sight to behold.

The story, well it is surprisingly sophisticated and complicated, if one were to notice cogitate on it. But one need not. It is about a girl who wants to be her own person, determine her fate and make decisions about career and romance on her own, not by tradition or parental guidance. In fact, she declares herself legally emancipated in a way but falls under the influence of a bad sort (a witch) and has a bear of a day — well, two days. She learns that maybe her parents and family were not so bad after all — and cruel words said in anger are often regretted…and making things right as a result — can cause miracles to happen.

Ten minutes into this charming and beautiful film, I was forgetting about my desire to punch a certain corporate giant in its money-sucking nose. I had escaped into an animated world with funny looking people. I loved King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and charmed by Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson). I got a kick out of the three little princes and Maudie the maid. I loved everything about it. Well, except, I felt it was a bit wee too long for an animated feature allegedly aimed at the young. And some jokes — all of which made me chuckle — may be a little vulgar for the prim and proper hankie sniffers. There is “kilt” humor, dry-heave gags (pun alert), and middle-age big bosom and little boy butt jokes, but anybody finding that upsetting needs to get the dry heaves over a plate of haggis while contemplating what is under a burly Scot’s kilt.

The end of the film elicited a few sentimental teardrops and perhaps a sniff or two beside me. The flesh and blood Sob-O-Meter registered a three on the ten point Wail Scale; highly appropriate for a preteen film. As for the Lifetime member of the Smirk and Cynic Society: he forgot, for a while, about the greedy, lazy, ignorant, stupid, asinine corporate monster that wiped out his entire cyber communications on two devices. It relaxed him to such an extent, he figured out how to (more or less) fix the problem without using their incompetent, cheap labor.

Sorry, this is about “Brave,” not about me or my problems. Wait, I may be wrong there. It allowed me to forget about my problems, and the plot reminded me that nothing is so important that it justifies tearing own clan or our family apart — and that humility (admitting one is wrong when wrong) has returns incalculable.

Good enough for me and good enough for the Tear Shedder. I hope it is enjoyable enough for you.

I am giving “Brave” four bow ties out of five.

Text Only
On the Screen