Wednesday, March 16, 2016

As You Wish

March Break is a lot less exciting when you're no longer a kid. As an adult, even if you're in school, there's almost always some adulting that needs to be done that ruins any free time you may have.

Luckily for me two things have come to pass to give me a chance to recapture a little bit of March Break this year. One, I was able to get a day off in the middle of the week, for reasons other than March Break but enjoyable all the same, and two, Landmark Cinemas has been playing The Princess Bride all this week which is exactly what I went and watch today.

I've spoken before about how The Hobbit was one of the formative works for making me a writer. The Princess Bride is equally as important. It's one of those films that taps into why stories are important and timeless, how they can bridge the gap between generations.

It's a story that works on multiple levels as well. At one level is the story of Westly and Buttercup and all the craziness around them. Swordfights and true love, giants and evil princes. It's a classic tale but so infused with humor and panache that it never gets boring even after watching it dozens of times.

The Hobbit made me fall in love with books and fantasy, The Princess Bride made me fall in love with swordplay:

I maintain that this is one of the best swordfights ever committed to film, not because of technique or cinematography but because it's so much damn fun! My memory is a bit fuzzy, but I'm almost certain this is the first sword duel I ever saw on film. The only other contender could be the Vader/Obi-Wan duel from Star Wars but that duel, while iconic in its own way, is not the kind to inspire any kind of passion.

But aside from the duels there's the very simple framing story of the grandfather reading to his grandson, passing along a family tradition. It's wonderful to see the originally reluctant grandson, who's not overly fond of his grandfather, get into the story and actually have a real connection with his grandfather than bridges the gap between generations. It tells us that some stories are indeed timeless.

The movie also has a near perfect ending when the grandfather says "As you wish" echoing Westly's words to Buttercup and telling his grandson he loves him in one of the most poetic ways possible.

I could probably go on for about another thousands words picking The Princess Bride apart but instead I'll just end with this: If you can see this in the theater take your kids and if you can't then rent it and have a family movie night. Who knows, you may inspire the next great novelist.

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