Damsel

This is not a fairytale.

Fantasy Action Adventure
110 min     7.139     2024     USA

Overview

A young woman's marriage to a charming prince turns into a fierce fight for survival when she's offered up as a sacrifice to a fire-breathing dragon.

Reviews

thorian93 wrote:
Today I enjoyed: Damsel. Damsel is a Netflix Original, that was released just a few days ago. Starring a strong cast with Millie Bobby Brown, Robin Wright, Angela Bassett and the voice of Shohreh Aghdashloo it follows the odyssey of Elodie. I am not going to spoil the plot for you, but I bet you can foresee most developments, dear reader. Overall I have mixed feelings. The story is nothing new, most elements are well known for this kind of movie. Some decisions of characters (including the dragon) feel dumb, and sometimes our main character gets very lucky, so the rest of the plot can happen. The CGI ranges from poor to pretty good, poor more in the begging, with huge landscapes and castles, but later, when the dragon makes an appearance, it looks pretty decent. But I was watching on a rather small screen and Netflix is punishing me with mediocre quality for some time now. So take my visual rating with a grain of salt. Now one thing I will say about the dragon: It has an interesting spin to it. For one thing, half of the time, we do not really see it and only hear Shohreh Aghdashloo's deep, rasping voice, bringing it to life. And when we actually see the dragon, it has a slight horror touch if you will. It looks like a hybrid between your average majestic and broadly loved dragon and something more dark and slimy. A muskrat comes to mind. I liked that (sort of). One remark towards the title: While it is obviously a play the well known 'Damsel in distress' and obviously Elodie fights instead of needing to be rescued, she screams a lot and actually seems in distress half of the film. Until she suddenly becomes the hero and single-handedly fights the dragon. It is a bit much and hard to believe. This is in all honesty an average movie. It is neither terrible nor great. If you are in the mood for some imagery, gold and jewels, dragons, princesses, and a few swords, then go for it. There are worse ways to spend roughly 109 minutes. But there are also better ways. _Originally posted on my blog: https://robingierse.de/blog/tie-damsel._
Sejian wrote:
Damsel suffers from the same issues that plague movies of this kind, and no, I'm not talking about the "woke agenda" or "muh diversity". I'm talking about bad writing. Too much reverse "show, don't tell" and too many contrived scenes and one-liners. The CGI is good, the costumes and set designs are good, the overall plot is good, but the writing falters often. I get that this is a PG-13 movie but teenage viewers aren't this dumb. Give them better writing. Maybe if we treat the younger generation like they have some intelligence, they'll start acting like it. The end result is a movie that wastes its star power and the effort of all involved. VAGUE SPOILERS AHEAD: 1. I get they were trying to do foreshadowing with the opening scene, but it ruined the "reveal". The birds were a nice thrilling scene that fell flat by us already being shown the antagonist. 2. The "V" hallucination was just too silly. Elodie should have found the _evidance_ and had her own organic "Tis a lie!" reaction. 3. It would have been nice to see Elodie wield a sword at some point before they left their kingdom, even if it was just her toting one in her introduction scene "for wolves" or some excuse. Take some hints from Brave (2012)'s Merida in the future for crying out loud. 4. Sister's reaction to stepmother's concern felt forced. 5. Stepmother's cut should have been a stab and she should have been in worse shape when she found Elodie. That scene also needed some work to make it less unbelievable. Like perhaps have Elodie make it back to the ship and find stepmother badly injured. Time skips are a thing that happens, y'know? 6. Father's reasons could have been better written. Easily they could've had palace guards shadow him to imply he'd been threatened and then redone his rescue attempt. Why? Because he is never shown to be callous to the needs or feelings of his daughters. Their family being threatened would've made more sense than "well I thought the sacrifice was worth it for the good of 'OUR' people". Why they had him say "my" is anyone's guess. 7. Less stoic one-liners and less stoic "No! <*thrusts sword into ground*>" moments. We've seen it numerous times and it's just utterly boring and contrived at this point.
Manuel São Bento wrote:
FULL SPOILER-FREE REVIEW @ https://talkingfilms.net/damsel-review-a-generic-yet-immersive-fantasy-flick/ "Damsel attempts to deliver a tale of empowerment and adventure within the rich fantasy genre but finds itself entangled in the ropes of predictability and missed opportunities for deeper narrative innovation. Despite its shortcomings, the film shines through its technical prowess, from visually stunning effects to immersive world-building, and is anchored by Millie Bobby Brown’s compelling lead performance. While it may not redefine its genre or leave an indelible mark on the history of cinema, it’s a pleasant home viewing with moments of genuine charm and resilience." Rating: B-
EarthAndGravity wrote:
I totally DISAGREE with the first review by thorian93. Yes, it is a simple storyline. Typical if you must say but it is a story that is NOT complicated and hard to understand. The story is not tangled that you need to connect the dots from past, future and the now kind of movie. It's simple but super. CGI is amazing especially the dragon. Eat your heart out thorian93! This is by far the best movie that I've watched this month of March.
nicoleamaree wrote:
**Movie Review: Damsel (2024)** **Plot Overview:** "Damsel" is a fantasy film that subverts the classic 'damsel in distress' trope. Set in a medieval world, it follows Elodie, played by Millie Bobby Brown, who is tricked into a marriage with a prince only to find out she's to be sacrificed to a dragon as part of a centuries-old pact. The film takes a turn from fairy tale to survival as Elodie uses her wit and resources to escape her fate. **Themes:** The film explores themes of self-reliance, empowerment, and the subversion of traditional gender roles. It challenges the narrative of the passive female character, presenting a heroine who is capable and resourceful. **Character Development:** Elodie's character arc is central to the film's impact. She evolves from a young woman resigned to her fate to a fierce survivor, fighting not just for herself but for the future of her people. The supporting characters, including the prince and the queen, add depth to the story, each revealing their own motives and complexities. **Director's Style:** Juan Carlos Fresnadillo directs with a clear vision, blending action with fantasy elements. His use of contrasting settings – from the snowy village to the opulent royal court – adds to the film's visual appeal. **Performances:** Millie Bobby Brown delivers a strong performance, capturing Elodie's transformation convincingly. The supporting cast, including Ray Winstone and Robin Wright, provide solid performances, though Angela Bassett's talent is noted as underused. **Technical Aspects:** The film boasts impressive production design and costumes, creating a visually stunning medieval world. However, some reviews criticize the CGI as cheap-looking and the action sequences as repetitive. **Strengths and Weaknesses:** Strengths include the film's strong lead performance, innovative plot, and beautiful set pieces. Weaknesses lie in the script and some performances that fail to engage, along with technical aspects that could have been executed better. **Recommendation:** "Damsel" is a film that offers a fresh take on the fantasy genre. While it has its flaws, the film's strengths make it worth watching for those interested in a modern twist on classic fairy tales. In conclusion, "Damsel" is a bold attempt to redefine a genre steeped in tradition. It's a film that will resonate with audiences looking for strong female leads and a story that champions individual agency over destiny. Despite its shortcomings, "Damsel" is a commendable addition to the fantasy genre and is recommended for its unique perspective and engaging storyline.
r96sk wrote:
A disappointment. 'Damsel' has the right ingredients but unfortunately fails to deliver. Millie Bobby Brown leads the cast in alright fashion, her performance in the lead role is serviceable. She is probably the only positive that I hold for this 2024 film sadly. My main negative is the special effects, which are quite distracting throughout - barely any of it comes across as convincing. The dragon looks OK, but the way it moved sometimes didn't seem right. Speaking of that creature, Shohreh Aghdashloo is a neat piece of casting on paper, though her voice was not the most fitting in actuality. The lighting also felt odd. On the cast, away from Brown, Robin Wright is very meh in her role, while Angela Bassett feels extremely wasted. There is, at least, a nice end credits song from the ace Lykke Li, "Ring of Fire" is admittedly incomparable to "No Rest for the Wicked" but it is pretty good all the same!

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