The Princess Bride (1987)
post written by Esther Filbrun
Title: The Princess Bride (1987; PG)
Director: Rob Reiner
Major Themes: Adventure, Fantasy, Romance
Synopsis: A high adventure story, complete with the hero going to rescue the heroine and encountering lots of obstacles on the way there.
“You haven’t watched The Princess Bride?” They asked me incredulously, “but you must!” So we did that evening. “It’s a great movie,” they told me, “you’ll love it.”
And I did, mostly. What isn’t there to love about a fairy tale romance-slash-fantasy where the man fights for his love despite all odds against the both of them? Really, what’s better than that? At the same time, I came away from the movie slightly disappointed. There were several things I really didn’t enjoy watching—short snippets of torture scenes, and times when people were badly hurt trying to defend themselves or revenge themselves on their enemies.
But the lovely thing about this movie is that the longer I go from watching it, the more I realize that I loved it partly because of its potential—because it reflects a very real attribute of Jesus’ love for us.
In the story itself, Buttercup and Westley are simple farm people. Though Buttercup doesn’t understand right away, they soon fall in love, and Westley determines to go earn enough money so they can live comfortably. While he is away from home, however, his ship is attacked by a dreaded pirate, and everyone on board is killed. Buttercup, upon hearing the news, is heartbroken. Then, Prince Humperdinck decides he wants to marry her, and Buttercup is heartbroken even more—there was only one man she loved, and he is now dead. Just before the wedding, however, Buttercup is kidnapped—and thus commences the biggest adventure love story that I’ve seen so far!
In many ways, I loved The Princess Bride. The hero and heroine are very lovable, and their story is quite sweet, overall. I was the girl that would sneak off in the library to read fairy tales (a book not encouraged in our home), and this movie is the ultimate fairy tale in a way. Yet there are many humorous and adventurous parts that you wouldn’t normally get in a fairy tale, so it’s even better.
Unfortunately, the part that brings it down in the ratings some for me is the amount of violence in here. Often, people are threatening other people’s lives, and throughout the movie, several people are killed. Near the end of the story, a man is tortured quite cruelly and killed—a gruesome scene. Also near the end, someone takes revenge on someone else and a bloody fight ensues, where one man ends up being killed.
If you’re looking for relatively clean entertainment, this may be a good choice for you—especially if you don’t mind a little of what was described in the last paragraph. The Princess Bride is, really, a great story about love and perseverance and faith and hope. All of those are attributes Christ has toward us, and many similarities could be drawn from the movie in that regard. At the same time, I don’t know if I’d ever want to watch it again, because I don’t like seeing horrible things happen. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone under the age of 10 or 12, because of the content—but parental guidance is recommended in all cases. It’s a good movie; just not my favorite.
WARNING: See the second-last paragraph.
Ages 12 – 15, 15 and Above, Adults
Keywords: Adventure, Fantasy, Romance Fiction