The Princess Bride (1987)

You know what needs to be said more often? “As you wish.” We don’t all need to be servants, but we should all act out of love.

I’ve been trying to watch older, sometimes classic movies during my weeks, focusing on new movies during the weekends, and I came upon The Princess Bride last night. It’s the type of movie that you simply cannot dislike, what for its charm and romanticism. And yet, it’s disarmingly simple.

Something I noticed in this film was the camerawork. Almost all of the shots were filmed with wide-angle lenses, it seemed, and that actually irritated me. When you think of the beautiful sequences in this movie—the sunset kiss, for example—the beauty comes from the setting and the placement, not the shot itself. It’s as if they plopped the camera down in just the place where you could see the action. Even the featured image I used was cropped to look more sophisticated.

In truth, I’ve never seen a movie that looks more like a production. The consequence of so many wide-angle shots is that you feel like the characters are moving in a three-dimensional space, and in this case, it looks like a set. So very much of the film appears constructed, and it ruins the rare moments of location shooting.

That’s my only real problem with it, though. This is one of the most darling films ever made. The story, which William Goldman adapted from his own book (I worship the man), has a deliberately old style to it, and that only makes it more effective. The beats are supposed to seem typical, and yet they’re anything but. It’s a tried and true formula that’s been stewed by a master chemist.

This is the kind of movie that can make you happy even in the pit of despair. It is gentle and reassuring, and beyond dear. Want to watch it again tomorrow? As you wish.

3.5

The Princess Bride is available on Netflix.

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