Movie Review: Damsel (2024)

Synopsis: Elodie, the oldest daughter of Lord Bayford, reluctantly agrees to an arranged marriage with Prince Henry in the far-off land of Aurea because her bride price will provide much-needed relief to the starving residents of her homeland. When they arrive for her wedding, Elodie quickly warms up to the idea after seeing Aurea's beauty and even falling in love with Henry. However, soon after the wedding, she discovers it has all been a farce and she instead is thrown into a cave as a peace offering for the dragon living inside.

Who's in it? The movie stars Millie Bobby BrownRay WinstoneAngela BassettRobin Wright and Nick Robinson


Review: My wife and I decided to watch a movie late yesterday evening and after striking out on horror films lately, ended up changing things up a bit with the fantasy adventure, Damsel. My wife thought it looked good from the trailer and I enjoyed Millie Bobby Brown in the Enola Holmes movies, so we had cautiously optimistic expectations for this film. As it turns out, it was one of the best ones we've watched this year.

I think the thing that surprised me most about this movie was how raw and gritty it was. Elodie (Brown) takes so much abuse throughout the course of this movie, there were times when it reminded me a bit of a horror film. This is especially true when she's trying to escape the dragon (voiced by Shohreh Aghdashloo) and gets seriously burned.

The overwhelming odds against Elodie also made it easy to like the character. I especially loved how she uses her wedding dress (which at times was also a hindrance) along with various items left behind by other victims to fashion various tools. It was a bit like watching MacGyver if MacGyver happened to be a woman living in medieval times. When you mix in the various surprises throughout the dragon's lair, it was a movie that stayed interesting from start to finish.

The final confrontation between Elodie and the dragon was also much more suspenseful than expected, especially since it was clear Elodie didn't want to harm the dragon and saw the creature as much as a victim as she was. It made me wonder if she would end up needing to kill the dragon in self-defense or if she would somehow find a way to get it to listen to her, despite its blinding rage.

I also found I enjoyed the ending of the film. This might seem like something fairly basic, but I've seen way too many movies that have been ruined by weak endings and this was a film that could have easily fit that category if the writers would have taken a different direction. Instead, it was a satisfying ending, with people getting what they deserve and providing closure while still leaving just enough room for a sequel. I couldn't ask for much more than that.

Final Opinion: This was a well-written and well-executed fantasy movie that took full advantage of a mix of both rising and established stars. We enjoyed every minute of it and I would recommend it.

My Grade: A 

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