Brave

I have tastes that don’t necessarily agree with most people.  I obsess over anime series that are cliche and annoying and sugary (Pita-Ten?  Tiny Snow Fairy Sugar?).  More poignantly, I think my Erin Shore remix is not nearly as great as Lullaby of Flame, or Sayuri’s Reel.

So it’s hard for me to tell whether Brave is just something that hit -me- with full force, or if it’s really just an amazing movie and that everyone should like it as much.  I think it’s somewhere in the middle.

But man oh man…this movie.  This movie.  What the heck?

Maybe I’ll start with the bad, since I actually can find “weaknesses” in the movie.  One is that the music is good, but not actually too memorable because they don’t really do a whole lot of thematic/leitmotif repetition stuff.  They do very little of it, actually, and so it’s more background music for the most part.  It’s still pretty effective though, and the vocal tracks work really well too.  I actually already sat down and tried to see if I could work out a waltz that goes from Merida’s Home to Touch the Sky, but I don’t think it’s going to work out, unfortunately, since Touch the Sky has this really fast triple meter and if you force it into waltz tempo it loses the whole sense of motion–either that and/or you have to rework the melody line so that it doesn’t really sit with the original lyrics, which is also no good.  So it’ll only work if you want to waltz at some ridiculous tempo, which I’m not going to do.  It’s a shame though, because I know the social dance crowd is one of my big music audiences (the other being OHC, probably) and it would have been great to share my love for this movie through its music.  Well, maybe there’s still hope…there might be a way to make a jig out of one of the songs, for Ceili, which would be cool too.

The other thing is that the trailers seem to sort of fall flat of really accurately depicting the movie.  I guess that’s not really too much of a bad thing as it keeps it pretty spoiler-free, but some of them sort of focus on weird parts of the plot.  And in general most of the trailers I’ve seen are sort of underwhelming, I think, except this one which I think does a great job of showing how AWESOME Merida is (plus depicts the plotline pretty well).  Because we all know she’s awesome.  The downside of that trailer though, is that it spoils one of the great moments of the movie…and man is that a great moment.  (okay, I’ve watched that trailer like 20 times now)

Side tangent: today was also the first day I heard of Wreck It Ralph.  Kind of hyped!  While I was watching the trailer I was trying to keep a sharp eye out for all the cameos I could recognize…

Anyways, back to Brave.  And Merida.  Who, of course, is the first female Pixar protagonist.  So awesome!  Reminds me of how Terra was the first female lead in Final Fantasy, and look at how awesome she was (and the whole of FF6!).

Another complaint that I think could be made about Brave is that it’s a little predicable.  I admit that I already knew how things were going to end, as soon as they finished setting up the main plot.  But that didn’t really make it any less impactful for me, at all.  If anything, it made it =more= impactful, actually.  Can’t go into too much detail without getting spoiler-y, but…well, even near the very beginning of the movie, when they were still setting up the -premise- of the whole thing, I could already see where it was going, what the theme was gonna be, and already by that point I was emotionally invested because that point hits terribly close to home for me.

And that’s something about Brave that still astounds me when I think about it–the fact that it had me engrossed from the beginning until the end.  How does a movie get me emotionally invested even at the very =beginning= of it?  So ridiculous!  I mean, I had skimmed the trailer before watching it, so I knew that the main character was a female archer (thus, I knew I was probably gonna like it on some level…but I assumed it was just gonna be “another Pixar movie”)…but I don’t know…somehow even some of the very first scenes started making an impact on me.

Maybe it’s just because it’s all so personally relevant.  I admit that I’m no Merida (though I’m slightly closer than you might think), but there was a lot of empathy there, and I just…really liked her moments.  And let’s face it, Pixar did an amazing job with her hair.  I know I know, it’s not Timmie <3 hair, but it’s still really gorgeous.

Another thing!  The way Merida dresses!  She doesn’t wear princessy dresses or anything, but it’s not like she wears trousers or something either.  No, she wears this velvety dress that’s sort of pleated at the bottom half so that it flows…it would probably be amazing to see her waltz in that.  She even has this super-cool cape thing at some points, which is also great.  And come on…archers are always cool.  I found it kind of disappointing that her archery doesn’t actually uh…”amount” to that much in the end, in terms of practicality, but eh, it’s cool.

Brave somehow just felt more “human” than any of the other Pixar movies I’ve seen (Cars, Up, Wall-E, Ratatouille, etc.).  Well, I guess it helps that Merida -is- human, but I think it also just helps that the issue that’s portrayed is one that’s so very believable because so many (?) of us have experienced it personally, at least in some form or another.  I guess it makes sense that it would affect me especially, though I know others probably have it worse.  But, this is a subject where…well, I sometimes have to deal with it on a daily basis (in differing “phases”), and…well, I dreamed about it once, and that was the only time I have ever cried in a dream and woken up still crying.

I think they did an amazing job portraying it.  Lots of little things that were great…like the time when Merida’s mother -almost-….and then doesn’t.

Oh gosh…what the hell.  I can’t even explain it anymore.  This movie rocked my world.  I guess it was due to personal relation that I was crying and sobbing, but even disregarding that…

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