PG, 1hr 55min
Reviewed by Katy Breheny
This good-hearted, high-spirited movie will leave you with the wind in your hair and a breeze up your kilt. Brave (2-D) tells the untamed tale of Scottish princess Merida (Kelly Macdonald), who has her destiny already mapped out for her. Fated to forge an alliance between clans of the Scottish Highlands through marriage, Merida decides that tradition is highly overrated.
Taking her future into her own hands she decides to defy her mother Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson) and her larger than life father, King Fergus (Billy Connolly).
Following some magical advice from a witch (Julie Walters), Merida invokes a spell to change things. Too late she discovers this is a road full of pitfalls and the consequences may well be disastrous.
Not since Rapunzel's hair in Tangled has there been a head of hair as glorious as Princess Merida's in Brave and it is a wonderful symbol of her free spirit.
This movie bounds along with an effervescence that is contagious and the humour is spontaneous and delightful. Family dynamics between the trio are perfectly set up with Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson at their funniest.
Macdonald as Merida is a perfect choice and her energy never flags, making the character irresistibly likeable, even as a rebellious teen.
Although the feisty Scottish lords who vie for Merida's approval of their eldest sons are ridiculous, they are hilarious with heirs to match that will have you chuckling.
There was only one unwelcome draft up the kilt and that nearly had the star rating dropped to 3 1/2.
Where the tone had been impeccably wrought through most of the movie, towards the end it did lapse momentarily into buffoonery. Some depictions of the bear characters could have been taken out of the corniest of movies. Despite this, the overall experience was still invigorating and Merida's hair remained mesmerising.
This is definitely a movie that will have you in a buoyant mood with Scottish reels playing through your mind.
- © Fairfax NZ News