DAMSEL – Review by Nadine Whitney

Subverting fairy tale tropes has become somewhat a trope in itself. Damsel starring Millie Bobby Brown does nothing particular to add to the feminist conversation surrounding the empowerment of young women — if anything it takes from it. Damsel is unfortunately a minor and forgettable action driven dark fantasy fairy tale. The themes are at odds with how the film is presented. There is no mystery or intrigue, the characterisation is flat, and the story happens precisely the way one expects it to. There needs to be more films about empowering young women, and a failure such as Damsel might do more damage than good to the cause of depicting self-defined heroines in cinema.

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DAMSEL – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

Damsel, the new fantasy adventure on Netflix starring Millie Bobby Brown, fits squarely within the performer’s confident, feisty brand. The 20-year-old, also an executive producer here, shot to fame in 2016 as Eleven, a girl with telekinetic and psychic powers, in the Netflix series Stranger Things. In Damsel, Brown plays Elodie, a spirited princess who faces off against a dragon after an arranged marriage ends with her tossed into a pit as a sacrifice. While the film’s title and setup toy with the trope of the damsel in distress, Brown is so self-assured, there’s never any sense that Elodie is in real peril, which saps the film of significant tension.

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