Brave - ReviewWritten by administrator
There's a witch in Brave, the latest animated film by Pixar to hit the big screen: she's a wizened old crone masquerading as a woodcarver, with more magic about her than meets the eye. The magic in Brave, however, is not just interweaved into the plot, but also emanates from behind the scenes. The technical wizards at Pixar have conjured up a beautifully crafted yarn that's accomplished the twin feats of being both technically astounding and emotionally masterful.
Essentially a coming-of-age narrative, Brave tells the story of Merida (Kelly Macdonald), a willful Scottish princess who has to balance her need for freedom with her responsibilities to the realm. Very much the child of her rambunctious dad King Fergus (Bill Connolly) and her strong-willed mother Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson), Merida bucks an ancient matrimonial tradition, engages the freelance services of an eccentric witch (Julie Walters), and, in her struggle to unravel a beastly curse, learns to balance her duties and her free spirit.
As expected from a studio of Pixar's reputation, Brave is a film that pushes the boundaries of 3D animation, delivering some spectacularly mythical landscapes that are well worth the price of admission alone. The film manages to balance its epic scope with tongue-in-cheek humour, and there's a haggis-load of send ups to Scottish stereotypes and slapstick caricatures, all evocatively brought to life by the talented voice cast.
More importantly, though, Brave showcases Pixar's ability to run with a relatively straightforward tale and make it seem classically retold, rather than cliche or predictable. We know that the film will conclude with an obligatory happy ending, but that does little to detract from the joy of watching it all pan out.
While one could nitpick at the break in tone between the first and second halves of the film, or the lack of narrative originality that we've come to expect from Pixar, a movie of Brave's calibre deserves to be judged based on its own prodigious merits. But don't take our word for it, go watch it for yourselves; seeing is believing, ye ken?
Summary: A rousing, beautifully crafted work of animation.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars