Netflix Damsel Review 2024: A Refreshing Twist on Fairy Tale Tropes

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By Jak

5/5 - (1 vote)

Netflix Damsel review 3/5

When you dive into Netflix Damsel, you might expect the same old fairytale tropes getting a cheeky makeover, as many filmmakers love to do. But this film isn’t just about flipping clichés with a knowing smirk. It’s more like meeting an old friend who surprises you with a fresh take on a classic story.

Netflix's Damsel review

Unlike some movies that get lost in their cleverness, Damsel keeps things lively. It’s like being swept up in a whirlwind adventure where you’re never quite sure what’s around the next corner. And that’s what makes it so enjoyable. Instead of patting itself on the back for its innovation, it’s too busy whisking you away on an exciting journey. So, sit back, relax, and let Damsel take you on a ride you won’t forget.

In truth, there aren’t many surprises to be found here. Perhaps the script by Fast X writer Mazeau could have used a few twists and turns. However, there’s a certain satisfaction in the simplicity of watching an underdog rise from adversity, fuelled by the age-old theme of revenge. For Elodie, played by Millie Bobby Brown, her journey begins amidst turmoil. Her family, led by her father (Ray Winstone) and stepmother (Angela Bassett), is facing hardships, and her people are in desperate need of salvation.

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A glimmer of hope appears in the form of a marriage proposal from a handsome prince from a distant land, guided by a determined queen (Robin Wright). But what seems like a fairy tale ending quickly turns into a nightmare. Elodie finds herself ensnared in an ancient ritual, thrown into a cave to be sacrificed to a dragon. Romance twists into horror as she fights desperately to escape to safety.

Netflix's Damsel review

Damsel offers a tween-friendly take on the classic revenge tale, adding a fresh twist to a subgenre that’s been overdone. Watching a young woman endure the physically demanding journey to becoming an action hero feels somewhat new, especially when compared to similar films like 2019’s Ready or Not, which seemed more concerned with its cleverness than entertaining its audience.

Under the guidance of Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, a Spanish genre director who has been absent from Hollywood for some time due to the lukewarm reception of his 2011 Clive Owen horror film Intruders, Damsel becomes an engaging adventure filled with simple pleasures. As we follow Elodie’s journey, we witness her discovering the importance of her resourcefulness and independence over the allure of a prince’s love. The film takes on a gently feminist tone, with the queen leading the kingdom, Elodie’s stepmother assuming control of the family, and even a female dragon reigning over the cave.

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This shift allows three older female actors to shine in roles that command attention, including Robin Wright, whose portrayal could use more ferocious one-liners, and Shohreh Aghdashloo, whose voice work adds a wonderfully sinister touch. While Millie Bobby Brown’s performance can sometimes feel overly emphatic, reminiscent of her role in the Enola Holmes movies, her transition from words to action is where she truly shines in Damsel.

Netflix's Damsel review

Overall, the film doesn’t demand a grounded or gritty performance, but it’s during moments of action that Brown truly comes into her own.

While certain wider landscapes may give off an artificial feel, Damsel manages to steer clear of many of the visual cues that typically mark a Netflix mockbuster rather than a true blockbuster. The world created is immersive, though it may feel somewhat underexplored. The dragon moves with grace and fluidity uncommon in CG monsters, adding to the film’s appeal.

Despite the occasional monotony of the dank cave setting and some predictable story beats towards the end, the film is thankfully well-lit, making for a more enjoyable viewing experience.

While Damsel doesn’t completely rewrite the storybook, it offers a competent reimagining, presenting a compelling revenge saga. It delivers a subtle yet uplifting message for its younger female audience and serves as a comforting reassurance for older viewers weary of tired gendered clichés. This time, there’s a balanced mix of sweetness and salt, adding depth to the narrative.

Netflix Damsel Trailer

Damsel Netflix Movie Information

Movie NameDamsel
Damsel Movie Cast Millie Bobby Brown, Ray Winstone, Nick Robinson, Angela Bassett, etc..
Streaming OnNetflix
Damsel Movie Releasing DateMarch 8, 2024 (USA)
Damsel Netflix DirectorJuan Carlos Fresnadillo
Music byDavid Fleming (score); Hans Zimmer (producer)
Produced byJoe Roth; Jeff Kirschenbaum; Chris Castaldi
Damsel Movie IMDB Rating6.3/ 10

Is Netflix Damsel based on a book?

If you’re curious whether Damsel is based on a book, the answer is no. However, there is indeed a book titled Damsel, written by Evelyn Skye and published by Random House on April 18, 2023. Here’s what happened: Dan Mazeau was tasked with writing the script for the movie and he crafted both the original story and screenplay. After completing the script, he shared an early draft with Skye, who then had the freedom to write her version of the story in novel format. So, the movie script came first, and the book is essentially a novelization of the movie.

Our Netflix Damsel Review

Our Newsfastline Team Rating is 3/5

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