Alright so as the title very clearly suggests, this is my personal tribute to a lovely cinematic wonder we all know and love as The Princess Bride. Now, I felt the need to write this post because--wait for it--I watched the princess bride this year only, two months ago to be more precise. Inconceivable? Maybe. But I should mention that I never really had the pressure or the encouragement I needed to view this movie ever in my life. I didn't grew up with people who might have watched the film when they were younger or friends who couldn't stop raving about the film, constantly urging me to watch it so that we could appreciate it together (I should mention I became that friend however, after watching the movie and now all my friends have watched it as well. You're welcome.) So I was "mostly" unaware of the justifiable significance of this movie and it's sheer loveliness and mostly unaware is slightly aware as you can guess. That been said, I am now going to proceed by unfolding even the most finest thread woven into this magnificent fabric and appreciate its beauty.
When it comes to praising a movie like this one you really don't know where to begin. So as a first time viewer of the film with no knowledge about the film's actual plot and characters and setting beforehand whatsoever, I'll begin by praising the first thing that caught my attention. The farmboy. Yes, you heard me, the farmboy. With the exception of Peter Falk who played the grandfather in the film whom I recognized from his show called Columbo that my mother absolutely loved and made me watch a couple of episodes of, the farmboy/Westley was the first aspect of the film that really, really appealed to my 18 year old eyes. I had to actually rewind all the "as you wish" scenes once they were finished because I didn't really watched them but rather I just stared at my screen in utter bewilderment and awe of how beautiful this person I had never seen or heard of before exactly was. It's true, I'd never heard of Cary Elwes before in my life. I had seen him in his current form here and there but never quite. After watching this movie he became kind of like a special easter egg for me hidden in movies I had seen a number of times before namely days of thunder, liar liar, twister etc. But once I viewed him in his full glory as the infamous Westley, I fell head over heels in love and I'll have you know that I've developed a very unlikely crush on him now and have viewed even the most unknown of his movies for the pleasure of my eyes, thank you very much. But seriously folks, isn't he so absolutely gorgeous? I feel like he still is. But as dear sweet farmboy and the badass pirate Roberts, he was a total bomb and at his absolute best.
Moving on, another important reason for which I think this movie has held its ground for so long is the smooth and steady yet reasonable pace with which it moves. I mean, as per the case with most movies, as you view them for the first time, no matter how great or successful or highly anticipated it is, it still takes a fairly long time while you warm up to it. It takes a while to get into the spirit of any movie. But the princess bride is one of those few movies that completely sucks you in its own fictional world the minute you start watching it and you find yourself effortlessly concentrating on the film and its plot and it does not take you long to figure out that and if it really means what you think it means.
Reality checks. Though the movie is a fantasy adventure, it is filled with some insanely brilliant reality checks. The one that immediately comes to mind is the dread pirate Roberts' immortal line "life is pain highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something." spoken in response to Buttercup's "you mock my pain!". I mean, how awesome is this line really is? Don't answer that. Major words to live by. Along with death cannot stop true love. Like, it sounds sweet and romantic particularly because of the way Westley delivers the line but it's actually so true. Death really cannot stop true love. Like, you are certainly going to meet in the after life, aren't you? One way or another, you are destined to run into your true love even after death shall do you apart. Next comes Fezzik's line which is " it's not my fault being the biggest and the strongest in this forest. I don't even exercise." Again, so painfully true and real. The brilliant "there's a shortage of perfect breasts in this world. T'would be a pity to damage yours." There are other great instances in the film that can very well be named here but I feel like this particular point deserves a separate post of its own. Well, be my guest, if you will.
It would be utterly, absolutely and in other ways totally inconceivable to beleive that this post would be complete without including Miracle Max. Billy Crystal gives his finest performance as the everyone's favorite Miracle Max in a movie you wouldn't think needed the presence of such a character until he is introduced in the film. Miracle Max along with his wife Valerie provides some of the greatest and the funniest moments in the film. With Max's lines such as the MLT one and the "to blave" and the one mentioned in the gif pictured above and Valerie's "I'm not a witch, I'm your wife" and "the chocolate coating makes it go down easier" , these two are clearly on the very top of their game and must I say it, real #relationshipgoals.
THE GREATEST SWORD FIGHT IN MODERN TIMES. As described by William Goldman in his screenplay for the film and the book which the movie is originally based upon. And very rightly so, I should add. The build up to this scene is fairly enjoyable. With the shrieking eels, Fezzik's gift for rhyme and the word inconceivable permanently cemented in the viewers' minds as one of the most important catchphrases from the film (Westley's presumable death, Buttercup's engagement to Humperdinck and her eventful kidnapping are essential too). But the fight itself is absolutely incredible. Though I have little to no knowledge of fencing as a real sport and its terms and defences, I have always enjoyed viewing it for simple pleasure, whether live or in film. And The Princess Bride swordfight also referred to as the chatty dual is one of the greatest to ever grace the big screen. The fact that none of the competitors actually dislike each other and moreover constantly keep complimenting each other's skills is truly unique. Nothing like I have ever seen. And the sudden change of hands from left to right by both the fighters, the palpable respect and admiration the two have for their own skill as well as the other's and the the irony of a viewer rooting for both the characters engaged in the dual is quite extraordinary if nothing else. Once I learnt that Cary Elwes and Mandy Patinkin trained hard for this particular scene and every frame of the fight, excepting the acrobatics, is performed by the actors themselves added a sort of subliminal element to the scene and made me respect the dedicated natures of such artists so much more.
The quotes of course. The numerous quotes that make this film one of the most quotable in the history of cinema are like priceless gems that the audiences have treausured for decades after the film's initial release. The "as you wish" and the mawwiage monologue and the incomparable "Hello my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." are the unforgettable quotes that are and will always remain a greater part of this film's legacy.
The entire to the pain tirade. This epic bit in the film has given me enough insults for a lifetime that would sound totally awesome and metal as I chant them to complete strangers. That's all there is to this.
The playful mixture of genres. This movie so cleverly and skillfully combines the seemingly very different genres of romance, adventure, fantasy, comedy that it's safe to say that this movie has something in it for everyone. You can easily watch this movie with a bunch of kids without worrying about what gruesome detail might be scarring for their juvenile minds. You can be a fully grown adult and still enjoy this movie to bits. It was so surprising for me to know that this movie was not a big hit back when it was released in 1987 but the marketing department is to really blame for this minor detail. I'm glad the film has found its rightful place in the pop culture and our favorite movies list. You know it's as real (and good!) as the feelings you feel.
The Princess Bride is a movie that can be honored with numerous odes and it still wouldn't feel enough. Which is why alot more can be added to this post in appreciation of the film. Unfortunately, I cannot explain everything as there is too much and so this would be my tiny effort of summing it all up. On an ending note, I should mention how the casting, the soundtrack, the quotes, the lovable (and the hateable) characters, the awfully polite and calming yet adventurous nature of the film makes this movie a classic and the epitome of perfection. Please share your thoughts and opinions regarding this movie and the post alike. I would love to hear from each and every one of you and for those of you who don't like the film or this post: