We all went to see Brave, Holly, Joycee, Granny, Grandpa and me. It started well, lots of giggles and chuckles from the girl and other weans in the packed afternoon cinema. When it took a darker turn, Holly was up on my knee, when it got a little more worrying she edged along the row to Grandpa, when it looked like Merida was going to get torn apart by the bear (see it, you’ll know what bit I mean) the girl was fastened around mummy’s neck. But she stayed for the whole film when many of her peers broke ranks and howled their way to the foyer. And, she loved it.
Me? It’s the best film I’ve seen in years. The animation is beautiful, the voice acting is fantastic and the story is simple and full of drama, humour, terror and emotion. I was right there from the start and for 90 minutes I laughed, sat forward in my seat and I swear I even misted up at one point. Near the start Merida escapes the castle for a wee break from it all and rides Angus her horse through the glens and on that ride I saw the Highlands as the live in my head when I’m not there. The shapes, the colours, the light, the timeless wonder, they captured it absolutely perfectly and it hit me in the head so hard I swear I didn’t breathe until Merida got back to the castle.
I’ve never seen the Highlands so perfectly depicted as I have in Brave, the moss on the trees, the ruined broch, the deep heather and grass, the way the river runs over the boulders, it wasn’t Disney and Pixar giving us their version they gave us the real thing.
Another things that was Brave about the movie was the voice acting, the accents are all real and unrestrained, they’re voices I hear all the time, I wonder just how may folk are getting every word of it outside Scotland? Especially the wee bits of doric Kevin McKidd was coming out with as the MacGuffins. Which brings me to another gem at the Highland Games bit, quietly in the background was heard the cry “MacGuffin you’re pish!”. Add to that “Jings, Crivvens Help ma’ Boab!” from Merida and I was pretty much on home turf the whole time.
I expected to hate it and I absolutely loved it. So many Scottish themed films float on negativity, either from the characters or from the situation or premise ( of which we have many obvious choices), but this was joy and brimming with positives in every way.
I can’t recommend Brave enough and if you do go, go early and catch the short animation La Luna that’s on before it, it’s a wee delight all by itself.