I’ve just gone to see Brave, and I want to join a bunch of other Pagans in reviewing it.
But first: “La Luna”! That beautiful, moving, short before the movie! It seemed truly like a myth, a story of the moon, and family. It took place in a modern Mythic Time: an amorphous epoch where modernity is apparent, but no specific period is referenced. And the story that it tells about the moon is as good as many of the ancient ones that tell the stories of the planetary behaviors. When Brave comes out on disc, I will be purchasing it, if for nothing else than this short. I think it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen from Pixar. And that’s saying a LOT, given all the truly beautiful films they have created thus far.
Now, moving on to the main event. I really appreciated the pagan themes of Brave, and how she followed the mythical creatures, and they were real, but not evil. I appreciated how Merida wove her own fate, but that in the end, her fate was tied to her past and her ancestry. And that the witch was forgetful and didn’t want to do magic because it always goes wrong (probably because people like to ask for things without thinking them through). I liked that the witch made the point that she has a lot of dissatisfied customers–I was glad they had a self-referential nod to the slightly cliched-ness of the storyline where Merida asks for a spell, and she gets what she wanted, but it goes horribly not like how she wanted it to.
I really appreciated how it dealt with the real coming of age stories of young girls, but in a legendary sort of way. How mothers do everything they can for their daughters, but the daughters want to forge their own paths, and how difficult it is to get through that. It really hit home for me with my relationship to my mother. And shows that the only way out is growing up, and realizing that your mother is a real person with feelings, and understanding that what she does, she does out of love.
Okay, but seriously? Can there stop being movies about ancient times where royalty are forced to marry someone they don’t want to and then at the end, they convince someone to change the law of the land so they can marry who they please? I mean, come on. It’s cliche, and it’s anachronistic.