Sunday 17 March 2024

REVIEW: Damsel (2024 Film) - Starring Millie Bobby Brown

Review by Jon Donnis
"Damsel" weaves a captivating tale of dark fantasy and adventure, skillfully directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and penned by Dan Mazeau. At its core lies the story of Elodie, brought to life with remarkable depth by Millie Bobby Brown, who embarks on a treacherous journey after accepting a marriage proposal from a charming prince. Little does she know, her betrothal is a ruse to settle ancient debts owed by a royal family.

Thrown into a harrowing predicament, Elodie finds herself imprisoned in a cavern alongside a fire-breathing dragon, voiced with haunting allure by Shohreh Aghdashloo. As she grapples with survival, Elodie's character undergoes a compelling transformation, evolving from a naive maiden to a resilient heroine driven by sheer determination.

The ensemble cast, including seasoned actors like Robin Wright (The Princess Bride, here she plays a Queen with an ulterior motive), adds layers of complexity to the narrative, offering nuanced performances that enrich the fantastical world of "Damsel."

While the film excels in its character development and atmospheric storytelling, it is not without its flaws. Audiences may find themselves questioning certain plot elements, such as the origin of a crucial map within the cavern, which detracts from the overall immersion. Who drew the map showing how to escape? If they escaped, did they then go back to draw the map? This one thing had me screaming at the screen. Not to mention a chest wound on the Elodie character which switched from one side of her chest to the other  towards the end of the film.

Furthermore, while the film's commitment to diversity is evident, the inclusion of certain characters may feel contrived, disrupting the coherence of the narrative. Come on, the setting is some kind of medieval England, not downtown Manhattan.

Despite these shortcomings, "Damsel" remains an engaging fantasy film suitable for audiences starting with mid teens and going upwards. With its blend of suspense, adventure, and dark fantasy elements, "Damsel" offers an enthralling cinematic experience that earns a commendable 7 out of 10 rating.

Out now on Netflix