Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Book to Film Review: The Princess Bride

About the film
The Princess Bride is a romantic comedy/ adventure film that was released in 1987. The film is based on the book of the same name by William Goldman, which was released in 1973. The Princess Bride has a run time of 98 minutes and is rated PG

A young schoolboy is off sick for the day and his Grandpa visits and begins to read him the story of Westley the farm boy and his one true love, Buttercup. Westley doesn’t think that he’s good enough for Buttercup and as they cannot get married, he sets off in order to find his fortune. However, while on a ship, he is declared dead after pirates attack. With Westley gone, Buttercup is forced to become engaged to the evil Prince Humperdinck even though she pines for Westley every day.

Westley is far from dead though and comes back, wanting Buttercup back and to know that she really does love him. On his way to rescue his one true love, and to get her back, he meets a strange band of travellers whom he must first defeat. There are many trials that stand in the way of Westley and Buttercup’s happiness but unlikely characters are there along the way to help out.

What I thought
The Princess Bride is one of those films that I must have watched a million times as a child – it was my sister’s absolute favourite film. However, until recently, I hadn’t watched it for ages and could barely remember what actually happened in the film.

Cary Elwes stars as Westley. I can remember watching this film for the first time and thinking that he was beautiful, probably my first crush from a film. To begin with, Westley is a wonderfully sweet character, showing nothing but love for Buttercup who is played by Robin Wright. He wants to do what is best for them both and wants to be able to provide for them and their future which is why he leaves in order to make something better of his life. There were so many sighs coming from me while watching this film again as I remembered what a sweetheart Westley is. Buttercup on the other hand, is a character who I never really liked. Wright is good enough in the role but the film was all about Westley for me at this point.

I loved Westley even more when he returned, dressed all in black and looking very much like Zorro. The change in appearance makes Westley incredibly sexy and the sighs quite possibly changed to drool. When the man in black appears, it is not known that this is actually Westley but the costume is not so good that you cannot tell who it is. From here, the The Princess Bride really becomes a fantastic film. Westley meets a trio of adventurers, Inigo Montoya, Fezzik and Vizzini the giant. All three of these characters are extremely unique and wonderful to watch. Fezzik is probably better known for his famous line; ‘inconceivable!’ which is said many, many times throughout the film. Inigo Montoya is my favourite of the three though, with his ideas of revenge and his mission to avenge his father’s murderer. While Fezzik has his own repeated line, so does Montoya. With his mission in hand, he prepares a speech for when he finally meets the man he wants to kill – “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” I love this line every single time it is said.

The Princess Bride is an absolutely magical adventure film and I don’t think my childhood would have been quite the same without it. The plot is exciting without being too over the top (well, not for the ‘80s anyway) and it manages to be funny at the same time. However, this is a film now quite dated due to the cheap looking sets and scenery. I know that some of this was film in places in the UK but cannot for the life of me remember where. When watching this recently, I commented quite a few times to my boyfriend about just how bad the sets looked. Can you imagine this being re-done now? I’m sure everything would be much fancier and more extravagant but that would take away some of the magic of the original film.

Somehow, I never actually knew that this film came from a book. Now that I do though, it is one I really want to read. As the Grandpa in the film reads it to his Grandson, I can imagine reading it to my children one day and them realising what a wonderful story it is. 

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE this film. One of my favourites ever. I love how endlessly quotable it is. You should definitely pick up the book, it's amazing. One of the few books and film adaptations that I love almost equally.