A true hybrid, The Princess Bride is an epic tale fusing fantasy, romance, comedy, adventure and more in a touching tale focusing on Princess Buttercup and her one true love Westley. For those who haven’t seen it, is it worth watching? Well, we’re about to give you our honest opinion.
Based on the hugely popular novel by William Goldman, the visual telling of the fantasy story was taken in hand by Rob Reiner who ensured that all aspects of this all-encompassing tale were playfully adhered to.
The movie itself is one that appeals to different tastes because it embraces all genres; it’s a comedy, action, adventure and romance. It’s not just for the chics, it’s more of a boy’s and girl’s movie all in one and few directors and indeed films embrace such diversity so successfully. No aspect of The Princess Bride falls flat or fails; the comedy is expertly executed, the romance is tender and poignant and the adventure is tantalising rich (the fight scenes are tense and enjoyable).
Although the movie seems hugely dated now, this is part of its appeal. It feels like watching a film from an antique world pre colonialism whereby the only way to explore was to sail and the peoples of the world remained largely exotic and unknown.
The Fairy tale Origin
The tale, which feels very fairy tale like in origin, tells the story of Buttercup, who as she grows, is known as the most beautiful woman in the world. We should tell you though that The Princess Bride exerts a very interesting narrative technique; the story is told from grandfather to grandson and there are frequent pauses and interjects as reality gets in the way and the boy questions aspects of the story. This keeps the pace fresh, lively and injects a little drama and suspense now and again. It also reminds us that this is indeed a fantastic fiction; it allows us to lose ourselves in a very well-told, almost old fashioned in the telling story.
Buttercup (played by Robin Wright), lives in the Florin countryside, and has fallen madly in love with her farm boy Westley. Westley leaves Florin and Buttercup to seek his fortune at sea but he never returns, felled by the Dread Pirate Roberts. Famously claiming to never love again, Buttercup agrees to marry the comically named Prince Humperdinck. Just prior to her wedding, the Princess is kidnapped by a giant, a Spaniard and Sicilian ring leader Vizzini. The party is pursued relentlessly by two forces; Westley in disguise and Prince Humperdinck’s persistent men.
Discovering that Westley is alive transforms the trajectory of the story entirely as the characters race against time to reunite the lovers. The pace of the story moves brilliantly; it’s slow enough to really establish the characters and the nuances of who they are but at the same time, there’s a punchy sense of timing when it comes to the delivery of a comic turn.
The cast is a stellar bunch; Wright lends Buttercup a vulnerable, wholesome beauty. She’s the straight piece in this film amidst the chaos and hilarity; the prize that everyone wants and the catalyst for the films actions. Wright’s English accent is also unbeatably convincing. Cary Elwes, nowadays famous for the Saw franchise, is fittingly handsome and wonderfully swashbuckling as Westley whilst Chris Sarandon’s Humperdinck is beguiling straight laced and surprisingly funny when required.
The merry trio themselves (Sicilian, Spaniard and giant) have impeccable chemistry. There’s an easy, playful camaraderie between them that gives their scenes an exciting energy. The scenery is lush and transporting; it really does feel like you’re in a far away new land.
Faithful and true to the essence of the book, the story depicts the fantasy like dream of the ordinary girl turned princess which is desired by so many women for their wedding day.
The rotten tomatoes rating for The Princess Bride is 5 stars and IMDB raters have awarded it 4 stars. We are going to blend these two results and give the Princess Bride 4 and a half stars! It’s one of the most addictive romantic wedding movies we’ve seen so far.