The story revolves around the young Princess Merida (Kelly Macdonald) who wants to defy customs set by her polished mother, Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson). She is not your arch-typical princess at all. She prefers eating with the hand, practicing archery and horse-riding, and chooses to do away with attire associated with pristine princesses. Her rebellious attitude leads her to approach a witch to change her mother, Queen Elinor (she meant, change in attitude!) However, all hell breaks loose, when the Queen does change, albeit into a bear. The rest of the film is about how the ‘brave’ Merida rescues her mother from her father King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and his troupe, and goes on to discover hidden secrets about the Scottish kingdom of DunBroch.
The story and the screenplay are well and truly, one of the biggest USPs of this film. Writers Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell, Brenda Chapman (the 3 have directed the film as well!) and Irene Mecchi have conceived marvellous characters. The film engages you throughout its length, sans a single lull throughout its 100-minute duration. Another positive is the score, composed by Patrick Doyle. Considering, that the premise of the film is based in Scotland, a lot of Scottish instruments such as bagpipes, harps, flutes have been used in addition to the electronic ones such as the dulcimer and cimbalom. Besides Patrick Doyle’s work, the soundtrack also features two original songs performed by Scottish Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis and written by Alex Mandel, and one original song performed by Birdy and the British band Mumford & Sons. Although the music cannot be termed as memorable, it did tailor into the film perfectly. As far as the voiceovers are concerned, the artistes donning the mic for the principal characters Kelly Macdonald, Emma Thompson and Billy Connolly do a tremendous job, enunciating with the required emotions.
The animation was breath-taking, with the 3-D making the visuals even more spectacular. If you thought ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted’ had amazing visual effects by the DreamWorks team, Pixar raises the bar by several notches in their latest offering. The film would be visually appealing in either formats – 2D or 3D. However, the best part about the film is that it does not bank primarily on the visual appeal, but has a well-etched plot to go with it as well.
The trailers of the film are indeed, misleading to a certain extent. The film is not the story about a princess as much as it is about courage! The kids in particular, will love this film. I am going with 3.5 Stars for ‘Brave’!