Retro Review: The Princess Bride
Twenty-five years ago today, a wonderful movie came to theaters that audiences fell in love with. I am talking about The Princess Bride. With today being the classic’s birthday, I thought I would write a retro-review of the movie especially for any of you unlucky enough to not know about this movie.
Hit the jump to read more…
If you listened to this week’s CYaN podcast, you can hear Ricky and myself talking about cult movies. The Princess Bride is without a doubt a cult movie. It did not fare very well in the box office, critics and audiences loved the film, and then it blew up when released to video. That is the very definition of how a cult movie starts.
But what makes it so fantastic?
The Princess Bride does a wonderful job of intertwining fantasy, romance, comedy, and adventure into a coherent story. The story is easy to follow, better yet it is accessible for male and/or female audiences. The story lends it to be a perfect date movie (if you want to see if that new fling in your life has the sense to appreciate a good movie).
Not only would this make a great date movie, it is a funny movie. You can watch it by yourself and still enjoy it. Hearing Vizzini yell “Inconceivable!” always gives me a good laugh. Not to mention the late André the Giant is quite funny in his role as Fezzik. I do not believe I have ever seen him in a more humorous role. Billy Crystal and Carol Kane give awesome comedic performances in the few scenes they are in. And let’s not forget Cary Elwes. He is charming and hilarious all in the same breath. This movie was the reason that I would check out other Cary Elwes movies, unfortunately he has not hit that mark again in my own humble opinion.
But the movie does not stop there as we have a wonderful romance between Westley and Buttercup. Westley continually replying with “As you wish” can be construed as romantic or creepy. I prefer to think of the former. My favorite moment is when Buttercup, not knowing who he really is, tells Westley to jump down the hill and he replies with “As you wish” as he is falling down the hill. Buttercup, realizing who he is, jumps after him and follow him down the hill.
To top it all off, the movie has a bit of adventure/fantasy. There is tons of sword fighting especially by Inigo Montoya. They have to save Westley by taking him to a miraculous wizard. The story has all the makings of a great fantasy story with a pirate, a giant, an evil prince, and even a scary swamp. This movie will not thrill you like other movies, but this nice change of pace makes The Princess Bride a fantastic film. There is even a bit of revenge going on.
I have spoken about most of the characters when I was talking about the story, but I feel that the most interesting dynamic characters are not in the story. The movie’s narrative is told by a grandfather telling his sick grandson. The way Peter Falk and Fred Savage play off each other is very warm and endearing. At first, the grandson does not care for this tale but soon warms up even if it has a few kissy parts.
But I can not stress enough how much the characters of the story sell this movie. Every character has a catchphrase that has stood the test of time and is still recognizable to this day. Each character fills a role and plays it up nicely, from Westley to Miracle Max. They play their roles, no more and no less. There is no character that stands out by him or herself in the film. Obviously, fans have their favorites but without every character the movie may not be as popular as it is today.
Honestly, I could go on for a while about how great this movie. But before I bury you under a bigger wall of text, I will instead end it here. I hope you are already a fan of this movie and if not I hope you go out and enjoy the movie as so many others have.
I will leave you now with the original 1987 trailer of The Princess Bride. Happy birthday!