REVIEW: ‘Princess Bride’ lives happily ever after as perfect family film

Cary Elwes and Robin Wright star as one another’s true love in 1987’s ‘The Princess Bride.’ Promotional artwork courtesy of Castle Rock Entertainment.

Full of perpetual hope, astonishing journeys, and imperishable love, The Princess Bride holds every beautiful fairytale all in one film. This enchanting dynamic of a stolen princess and her long lost lover who must save her from the mythical perils of the kingdom of Florin is the perfect film for the whole family during this Thanksgiving holiday. 

Directed by Rob Reiner in 1987, the movie begins with a sick young boy (Fred Savage) who is confined to the quarters of his room, his grandfather (Peter Falk) in charge of watching over him. The grandfather encourages the young boy to rest as he tells the lad one of his favorite fairytale stories growing up. Reluctantly agreeing, the focus on the grandfather and his grandson begin to fade from view as the audience is transported into the novel itself. From here, the viewers witness the very beginnings of the novel: the beautiful farmgirl (Robin Wright) Buttercup riding her horse to the small pasture where her beloved and devoted farmboy (Cary Elwes) Westley is working. In hopes to marry his treasured Buttercup, Westley sets off on a voyage to a land far away with promises of goods and riches. However, tragedy strikes, and Buttercup’s one true love is captured by dreadful pirates, never to return safely back to her. Encased with overwhelming grief for her lost lover for five years, she heartbreakingly accepts Prince Humperdinck’s (Chris Sarandon) desire to marry her. Before the wedding can happen, she is kidnapped by three unlikely rebels: the brain (Wallace Shawn), the brawn (Andre the Giant), the determined (Mandy Patinkin). From here, the scenes pan back and forth between the grandfather with his grandson and the wondrous pages of the novel as the audience watches expectantly in order to determine if true love will prevail in the end.

True to the fairytale pattern, men and women alike dressed according to cottagecore style. Lesser men and women wore plain, drabby clothing that was often too loose on their bodies. As one moved higher up the social ranks, the brighter and better material their clothes would become. The more riches one possessed, the softer and silkier the clothing would be. Their clothing was a representation of their wealth. However, what the people wore remained consistent. Men wore linen sleeved shirts and trousers of some sort. If they were wealthy, they also wore a brightly patterned vest and lavish boots. As for the women, they wore long, billowing dresses. The more tapered to the waist, the more wealthy that woman was. Wealthy women would also decorate their dresses with jewels and glimmering accessories to attract fellow wealthy suitors. 

All of the actors and actresses within this movie wore a modest amount of makeup in order to give a more realistic representation of the medieval era, which is the setting of this film. As makeup was hardly recognized in the medieval times, Buttercup became a recognizably known character for her natural beauty. Unless the actor or actress portrayed an unusual, old, or scarred character, makeup was avoided in the production of The Princess Bride. 

There’s no doubt the chemistry between two lovebirds and the platonic kinship of friends is what makes this film so incredible. Robin Wright and Cary Elwes’s portrayal of true love will make any disbeliever of soulmates reconsider their own beliefs of love. Whether it be a longing glance or a long-awaited embrace, your heart will yearn and flourish for the love between Buttercup and Westley. Now, of course, romance isn’t for everyone. However, that’s why The Princess Bride also includes the undying appreciation and pride of best friends. This film not only takes the viewers on a journey of true love, but also a journey of some very bizarre and hilarious friendships. Mandy Patinkin and Andre the Giant depict the friendship of three guy friends who just wish to help the other out and have fun along the way, going in the direction life takes them. Between the satirical jokes — inconceivably funny in their delivery — and witty remarks — “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means” — made along the way, The Princess Bride has something for everyone to enjoy.

From left to right: Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin), and Fezzik (Andre the Giant) make for an unlikely trio of would-be heroes in Rob Reiner’s 1987 comedic fantasy ‘The Princess Bride.’ Promotional artwork courtesy of Castle Rock Entertainment.

The Princess Bride is a story full of perseverance wherever you turn, and it’s this struggle to realize someone’s dreams that resounds with so many different kinds of moviegoers. If you’re an open-hearted romantic, the film has something for you. If you’re a fan of swashbuckling adventure, the film has something for you. And if you’re simply a fan of the underdog, the film has something for you. From. Inigo Montoya, a man whose father died at a young age, driven by his dedication to avenge his father, his willful swordsmanship and civil fights become Inigo’s only hope in willfully and dutifully avenging his father. Fezzik, the giant man who was only ever recognized for his brute strength, following with compliant footsteps of whoever hired him, has never done more than what he was paid to do. Despite these past assumptions, Fezzik pulls through in the end, proving to be more than just a faithful brute. Westley and Buttercup’s journey to find each other once more, enduring fiery forests and torturous chambers, creates a tale of lost love and devotion that never truly dies. As the pages of this story turn, one thing remains consistent: perseverance. Despite the hardships each character faces, despite the twists and turns they encounter, they remain strong and committed. It’s inspiring, heartening, uplifting. You’ll never encounter a more beautiful fairytale than this. 

Grab your popcorn, sit down, and relax as you and your family watch a movie that not only illustrates love’s purest form, but makes you fall in love with it, too.

If you were looking for the perfect film to entertain the whole family this holiday season, all you had to do was ask for Reiner’s 1987 film The Princess Bride

It delivers.

“As you wish.”

The Princess Bride is rated PG.

Kaitlyn Riley is a pop culture critic for Oswego East High School’s online news magazine the Howl

Leave a Reply