Millie Bobby Brown Shines in Darkly Enchanting "Damsel"

Although the Netflix has been producing series and movies for more than 10 years - series since 2013 and movies since 2016 - it has managed to create only one big star so far, the British actress Millie Bobby Brown who stars in this movie

by Sededin Dedovic
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Millie Bobby Brown Shines in Darkly Enchanting "Damsel"
© Movie Recaps / Youtube channel

In today's times, cinema halls are often dominated by predictable narratives, superhero films or sci-fi films with a lot of special effects. "Damsel" comes across as a refreshing breeze, offering a unique twist on the classic fairy tale formula.

Directed by visionary Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and led by an all-star cast led by Millie Bobby Brown, this fantasy adventure invites audiences into a world where danger lurks at every turn and heroism takes on new, unexpected forms.

Set in the enchanting Kingdom of Aurea, the story follows Elodie (Millie Bobby Brown), daughter of Lord Bayford (Ray Winstone), who finds herself betrothed to Prince Henry (Nick Robinson), the heir to the throne. Despite initial reluctance and not knowing the prince, Elodie agrees to the arrangement to help her people.

However, her journey takes a dangerous turn when she becomes the target of a wild dragon, voiced with chilling intensity by Shohreh Aghdashloo. Now, Elodie must navigate the treacherous landscape of Aurea, facing external threats and internal conflicts as she fights for survival.

At its core, "Damsel" is a story of empowerment and self-discovery, subverting traditional gender roles and offering a refreshing portrayal of female strength and resilience. Unlike conventional fairy tales where the damsel in distress is often present, Elodie emerges as a proactive protagonist, shaping her own destiny in the midst of adversity.

This thematic depth adds layers of complexity to the narrative, elevating it beyond mere spectacle into the realm of thought-provoking storytelling.

Netflixs Damsel© Movie Recaps / YOutube channel

One of the film's greatest strengths lies in its visual aesthetics and world-building.

Fresnadillo creates a visually stunning universe, rich in detail and atmosphere, that transports viewers to a realm where magic and danger coexist. From the lush landscapes of Aurea to the ominous dragon lair, every frame is meticulously composed, immersing the audience in a world that feels both familiar and fantastical.

It must be admitted that the producers paid a lot of attention to these details, which improved the overall impression of the film. Central to the film's success is definitely Millie Bobby Brown's stunning performance as Elodie.

With her trademark blend of vulnerability and determination, Brown breathes life into the character, giving her depth and complexity. Despite her youth, Brown commands the screen with a presence that belies her years, many were surprised by her emotional acting where she was very convincing.

Netflixs Damsel© Movie Recaps / YOutube channel

Supporting performances from the likes of Robin Wright, Angela Bassett and Ray Winstone are all satisfying with each actor bringing their own unique energy to their role.

While some characters may feel underutilized, especially Angela Bassett's character, the strength of the central performances ensures that the emotional message of the story remains intact. In terms of action and adventure, "Damsel" delivers a lot.

From thrilling chase sequences to pulse-pounding confrontations with mythical creatures, the film keeps the audience on the edge of their seats. However, it's worth noting that the film's darker tone may not be to everyone's taste, with some scenes veering into intense territory that may be upsetting for younger viewers.

Despite its narrative and visual strength, "Damsel" is not without its flaws. The decision to place much of the film's tension-filled moments in darkness may detract from the overall viewing experience, and the excessive use of screaming may prove off-putting to some audiences.

In addition, the pacing of the film could have been tightened, with some scenes being drawn out or unnecessary.

Netflixs Damsel© Movie Recaps / YOutube channel

The biggest flaw of the film is the lack of excitement and tension.

The main character is faced with many challenging situations in her adventure. Some of them are fatal for her life. However, all the director manages to provoke is an attempt to create a tense situation. In all those scenes, no matter how much the young Millie Bobby Brown tries to be convincing, it's all rather lukewarm and remains at the level of an attempt without a real effect on the viewer.

Rotten Tomatoes critics rated Damsel at 58%. Although the average viewer gave a higher rating, even 75%, the comments on social networks show how divided the opinions really are. "I don't have anything bad to say, but I'm not objective because I normally like movies where people get the revenge they deserve in the end," wrote one viewer on Reddit.

"The movie could have had more depth but I was terrified when Millie was in the cave. I felt so anxious for her even though I knew the producers weren't going to kill off her character. Also, the ending was satisfying," wrote another user.

who also liked the movie. "The movie wasn't terrible, but it was too predictable in parts and full of clichés", "There is no story here. How did anyone write this script? What is the message of it all? What am I supposed to think about this? This movie is a shell, like soup bowl, but no soup inside", are some of the more negative comments.

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