Categorized | Arts & Culture, Reviews

Monthly Movie Review: The Princess Bride

Director: Rob Reiner 

Starring: Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, and Robin Wright

All right folks, this month we are taking a step back from the intense thrillers I have been throwing at you month after month. You can now rest easy, sit back in your seat and wipe your clammy hands on your blanket, because this month you will not be sleeping with your lights on when the film gets done.

The Princess Bride may have a few intense moments, but considering the year this film was made most of us will probably be able to handle the outrageous special effects the 80’s were dishing out.

The Princess Bride is a story of fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, and miracles…to steal a line straight from the film, but hey, at least that means it’s true, right? With a description like that this is a movie that everyone can hopefully enjoy.

When the film begins we see a young boy at home, sick in bed. This boy happens to be Fred Savage who in my mind will never age and will always be the kid from The Wonder Years, which is ridiculous because that show aired before I was even born, but these are the facts as strange as they may seem. Anyway, little Fred Savage is home sick and his grandpa comes to read to him to make him feel better and what do you know? He brings along a book called The Princess Bride. Coincidence? I think not.

So on a side note this film is essentially a story within a story, and that gets even trickier when you learn that the film is based on a book. So essentially it is a film about a book about a story about a book. Yeah that was a mouthful, or rather a brainful.

Now let’s get back to business. We have the grandpa, who by the way never gets a real name nor does Fred in case you were wondering, reading the boy this book. We are then fully immersed in the story and life of the characters in the book. There are brief breaks in the storyline when we cut back to the child and his grandpa, or when we can hear the grandpa’s voice narrating the story. For the most part however we are seeing the book as the main focus and attraction of this film.

  Once we get into the plotline of The Princess Bride segment of the movie, we can see that it is largely a story of finding true love, with many obstacles and battles in the way. Buttercup (Wright), is a young beautiful girl who falls in love with a farm boy Westley (Elwes). The two are madly in love, but are torn apart when Westley leaves to seek fortune at sea. Sometime after that Buttercup gets word of Westley’s death by the dread pirate Roberts and goes into deep despair vowing never to love again, or in laymen’s terms “shit gets real.” All jokes aside she is very upset, but eventually somewhat, and by somewhat I mean she doesn’t at all want to, against her will she agrees to marry Prince Humperdinck (who by the way was probably relentlessly teased because of his name poor chap, thank goodness he isn’t really a nice guy).

Shortly after the announcement of Buttercup and Humperdinck’s engagement Princess Buttercup is kidnapped by a band of three misfit men that normally wouldn’t go together even if you Gorilla Glued them to one another. These men are complete opposites in every way, but somehow came together to execute this scheme. The group consists of a giant; Andre the Giant is playing this character in the film so yeah like a literal giant, a Spaniard who is a master swordsman hell-bent on revenge (Mandy Patinkin), and Vizzini (Wallace Shawn, better known as the voice of Rex in the Toy Story movies) the mastermind behind the skillfully crafted plan.

What these men don’t count on however is that they are being followed. The elusive “man in black” that is following the men proceeds to encounter and then conquer each of the kidnappers, eventually getting the princess for himself. While all this is taking place Prince Humperdinck has been hot on their trail.

We later find out that this “man in black” is Westley, who obviously is not dead, sorry to drop that twist on you. The long-lost lovers are now reunited and are heading into the ominous fire swamp to get away from Humperdinck. Now you should be aware that the fire swamp poses great danger with its fire spurts, quick and the ROUS’s (rodent of unusual size), yes you heard right these huge rats are some pretty vicious creatures, you best be on the lookout for them.

They are eventually and predictably caught after facing the treacherous swamp. Buttercup and Westley are torn apart yet again. Buttercup goes back with Humperdinck to be married and Westley is shipped off to be tortured.

I know that this is getting to be a lengthy yet very interesting review, but nonetheless I will quickly throw the main highlights of the rest of the film at you.

Westley is rescued by the Giant and the Spaniard and they set of to storm the castle to rescue Buttercup from Humperdinck, and for the Spaniard to get his revenge on the six-fingered man who killed his father. Obviously there are a lot more details involved in getting to this point in the film, but you catch my drift. Now that the men are in the castle, you will just have to watch and see what adventures will ensue.

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