Brave exceeded my expectations. I've seen warrior princesses, and I've seen fiery redheads defy their parents wishes, but I honestly believe Brave depicted something new, and even something counter cultural. Brave told a story of forgiveness and reconciliation. It championed community over individuality.
I'm not going to ruin it for you, but I want to say that the ideals of the film were utterly other than those ordinarily pushed in such movies. We're used to stories of independence, where strong willed heroes dodge the consequences of their actions and claim glory for themselves and their ragtag group of friends. Brave is not that story. Brave is better.
I think that the film will struggle with popularity, not because it features strong female characters, but because its message is decidedly not self-centred. There are parallels between Ariel and Merida, and between Mulan and Merida, but Brave's princess is entirely more realistic. She is whiny and rude, and her adolescent defiance hurts her family. Disney traditionally has challenged us to strike out on our own in spite of what anyone tells us. Brave challenges families to listen to one another, to forgive one another, and to believe in one another. This challenge is as much harder as it is better.
I advise you to go see it. Brave is funny and smart, and it was beautiful to see on the big screen. I'm certain I'd only enjoy it more if I had children, but you don't need kids to appreciate it. I saw it with my wife and two single friends, and it sparked great discussions, especially about our mothers.
If you do take your kids to see it, consider reading Matthew 18:15-35 before or after. Talk with them about forgiveness. Remind them how much you love them and will forgive them no matter what, and how Jesus loves them with even greater all-forgiving love.
|Dunnottar Castle photo by: macieklew|