Timelessness, not an easy business

Of late, many friends and movie-lovers have been raving about the film they saw in the late ‘80s – The Princess Bride. They quoted the film, they discussed it, and they expressed immense surprise that I had not watched it.

I IMDB-ed the film to find out that movie had won many awards and was also nominated at the Oscars. I considered that this was one of those movies that I missed as a kid and have hence spent an underprivileged childhood.

On this Saturday, my friend decide to change my life and invited me over to watch the film. And that is how I spent the most treacherous one hour and forty five minutes of the past weekend. 

Well, I lie. I still had a great time but that was simply because I was with friends, sitting back in a comfy couch, sipping wine under the disco light in a room with the view of the harbor. But the movie was a disappointment. A displeasure even.

The film starts with a pre-teen kid cribbing about having his cheek-puller granddad over as he sits in his bed, sick. The granddad has brought along a special story book that has been read by dads to their sons when the sons were sick for generations now. The kid shows disinterest in the storybook, specially when the characters kiss in the first chapter itself. The movie then shifts to this fantastical land of kings, queens, pirates, and monstrous rodents. It is a story of girl who looses her love and then finds it again, and then they fight with the world to be with each other, told in a very inconsistent fashion.

I thought the film was a spoof on fairytales when it began, but I was wrong. It was trying to be a wondrous fairytale itself. But I found the characters clunky, the presentation jumpy, and the story very ordinary. I also found most characters over-the-top. Plus, there did not seem to be any uniformity in the storyline.

However, not so-many movie buffs can be wrong about a film and that makes me conclude that it is one of those films which sweep you off your feet when they first come out but slowly, with time, they loose their sheen. 

Making timeless films must be a tough job, I presume. A timeless fairytale movie that comes to my mind is The Glass Slipper, but they maybe it is my The Princess Bride. Who can tell!

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3 Responses to “Timelessness, not an easy business”

  1. You would do well to read the novel The Princess Bride, by William Goldman ( yes, the screenplay writer). It’s a lot of fun, I can guarantee that – haven’t seen the movie, but I always thought it would be impossible to replicate the “feel” of the book on screen. Plus, Robin Wright as the most beautiful woman in the world? Feh!

  2. Interestingly, Samrat found that book in Borders this Sunday but dropped it after noticing that it was by the screen writer. Will pick it up now.

  3. You should rewatch it. That’s when it really starts infiltrating your psyche. And then you’re hooked, and you’ll be quoting Inigo Montoya whether people around you like it or not.

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