Film

Brave: a feminist’s review‏

Charlotte King

This film left a whisky-warm taste. In many ways Brave – Pixar’s latest animated offering about a Scottish princess who doesn’t fit the ‘princessy’ mold – merits the hype.merida 2 300x280 Brave: a feminists review‏

The bow-touting, outdoors-loving daughter of a bearlike Scottish king, Merida doesn’t conform to her mother’s wish to be the perfect princess. She can’t sew, eat or dress in a ladylike way, and prefers riding through the Highlands on horseback – cue some wonderful sun-hued shots of Scottish scenery – to embroidery. When her mother announces a trial to determine Merida’s future husband, then, the plot is set for some angsty teen rebellion and blah blah blah.

So far, so Mulan. But I think this film distances itself from previous cartoons about Feisty Females. Refreshingly, there is no love twist. More interesting still, Merida’s mother’s transformation into a bear (it’s a long story. No honestly) leads to a genuinely gripping change from conservative matriarch to warrior. It’s a rare climactic fighting scene which includes only female fighters – even if it is still wrapped in layers of Pixary maternal love. This is a story about belonging, but from a very different angle. It certainly is not, as one critic described it, a film ‘shackled to the bonds of family’. (It’s called FAMILY and it’s a CARTOON, you scrooge, so the feudal system isn’t properly elaborated. You’re at the wrong screening.)

Pixar is formulaic, but it is a formula that works well. There’s no doubt the technology used to mirror human behavioural traits has improved hugely. If this means our heroines become even more hirsute in future then I’m all for it. The film is light-hearted, technically superb, and perfectly good money’s worth.

It may be grating that feminist kids’ cartoons are still newsworthy – almost as annoying as the apparent need to describe Merida as ‘feisty’ and ‘a redhead’ in every review – but until empowered female cartoon characters the world over are passing the Bechdel test, we should embrace the films which do this so naturally, and with such humour.

My only reservation is that they chose to star Rebecca Brooks. With a bow and arrow. Given the recent press reviews, didn’t they think she should lie low for a while?

 

Film
Charlotte King

Books | Travel | Food | Environment. @_chakin

More in Film

Birdman: Utterly exasperating.

Film Review: Birdman

Jonathan PriceJanuary 29, 2015
imax

IMAX – How the cinema experience should be

YuppeeJanuary 28, 2015
Eddie Redmayne - like Stephen Hawking's long lost twin. - The Theory of Everything

Film Review: The Theory of Everything

Jonathan PriceJanuary 23, 2015
5F7CE9F0-ADE3-EBCE-E91D5A7F6AD5B801

Into The Woods – 2015 Film Review

Rachel CleverleyJanuary 21, 2015
NOOO! NOT THE GOBLINS!

The Top 10 BEST Worst Movies Of All Time

Jonathan PriceJanuary 20, 2015
Steve Carell and Channing Tatum star in this true life wrestling tale

Film Review: Foxcatcher

Liam GillespieJanuary 16, 2015


We are always looking for new writers and aspiring journalists to join our team. If you are interesting in writing for us and joining Team Yuppee, please visit our Write For Us page and we will get back to you ASAP with information on how to get started with the website.

Yuppee Magazine was founded in 2012 and provides you with ideas from young enthusiastic journalists around the world. Yuppee aims to provide a platform for journalists to have a voice - whether that is a student journalist looking for experience or someone who enjoys writing as a hobby, Yuppee Magazine is an opportunity - inspires writers and readers and brings the two together.

Copyright © 2015 Yuppee Magazine.