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The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School

THE BLAZE

The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School

THE BLAZE

The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School

THE BLAZE

“Damsel:” A Testament to Women’s Empowerment

On March 8, Netflix released “Damsel” starring Millie Bobby Brown, Nick Robinson, and more. Following Brown’s character, Princess Elodie, the film covers themes of female empowerment as the princess navigates her chaotic life after marriage. Though the plot had promise, the graphics fell short and felt inauthentic.
A+dark+fantasy+film%2C+%E2%80%9CDamsel%E2%80%9D+flips+the+classic+trope+of+%E2%80%98knights+in+shining+armor%E2%80%99+saving+the+distressed+princess+on+its+head.+Photo+courtesy+of+Netflix.
A dark fantasy film, “Damsel” flips the classic trope of ‘knights in shining armor’ saving the distressed princess on its head. Photo courtesy of Netflix.

The sweeping scenery of “Damsel” can reel viewers in, but it doesn’t make up for the mediocre CGI (computer-generated imagery) effects. If you’re looking for a fantastical movie with well-developed dragons, turn the other way. “Damsel” follows Elodie (Millie Bobby Brown), the daughter of a poor lord about to be wed to Prince Henry (Nick Robinson) in a marriage arranged by her father, and her journey through the trials and tribulations this forced union challenges her with.

Despite the lackluster CGI, Brown’s acting in the film is breathtaking. From her other stints in acting, most notably “Stranger Things,” she’s only gotten better at encapsulating the sheer agony her characters go through, nearly feeling her pain through the screen.

“Damsel” challenges the patriarchal themes that have been set in place for centuries and span through every age-old fairytale, with the opening lines of the movie being, “There are many stories of chivalry where the heroic knight saves the damsel in distress. This is not one of them.” It’s refreshing to see a strong, understated woman be the hero of her own story, and, unlike the generic story, it never gets old.

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Elodie is a sophisticated, adventurous, resourceful, and well-spoken young lady for the era this movie is set in, which is likely to be sometime in the 1800s due to the costume choices, although it’s never specified. With her proper stepmother (Angela Bassett) ready to see her wed, her hopeless romantic of a little sister (Brooke Carter), and her father (Ray Winstone) looking for practicality rather than promise, Elodie struggles to find her place in her family. It’s almost as if she’s crushed by their high expectations and is quite different in person than her writing, which is even stated by Henry. 

Elodie’s father urges her to marry the prince due to their hometown’s impoverishment, and she is not disappointed when she arrives at the kingdom of Aurea and is greeted with gold awnings, glitzy carriages, and glamorous walkways throughout the castle. However, once the marriage is official, things start getting strange for poor Elodie. After her new husband throws her off a cliff to repay an ancient debt, Elodie is to fend for herself, because the last thing her prince charming is doing is helping her.

When the dastardly fall leads Elodie to a series of caves where she’s being hunted down by a talking, fire-breathing dragon (voiced by Shohreh Aghdashloo), she has to find a way out using her honed skills and traits. It is with the previous princesses who fell victim to the dragon and their clues and persistence to stay alive that Elodie is able to keep fighting for herself, proving that the strong women in your life provide the greatest strength of all. 

“Damsel” boasts about the importance of female empowerment, and it shines a bright light on the fact that regardless of whether or not those Disney princesses truly needed a man, the modern (or 1800s-era) women couldn’t have cared less. 

“Damsel” is available to stream on Netflix.

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About the Contributor
Maya Coleman
Maya Coleman, Business Manager
Maya Coleman is a junior and this is her second year on “The Blaze.” She is the Business Manager and is excited for another year on the school newspaper! Ever since she was younger, she’s loved to write, and it’s something she believes she will always be very passionate about. She is a part of Rock Ridge Sings as another elective, and in her free time she enjoys reading books, watching movies, and hanging out with her friends.

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