Netflix Damsel Review - GIRL POWER

Published: 10th March 2024, by Andrew Radbourne.

My spoiler-free musings about Netflix movie Damsel, Knights Dragons and a Damsel in Distress?

Greetings everyone,

Recently, while seeking my next Netflix foray after a rerun of Extraction 2, I chanced upon the newly released "Damsel". Intrigued, I decided to delve in. The story unfolds around a princess, portrayed by Millie Bobby Brown, who eagerly anticipates an arranged marriage. Shockingly, she soon discovers that her actual fate is to be a sacrificial offering to the dragon of the mountain, and her princely saviour is nowhere to be found.

Netflix poster featuring millie bobby brown as princes elodie in tattered clothes at the mouth of a cave on a cliff face whilst the shadow of a dragon hovers ominiously above her
Netflix Poster for Damsel
While it might initially seem riddled with problematic themes in today's world - terms we wouldn't necessarily use a decade ago - the film doesn't entirely dwell within the trope of the omnipotent female lead. It instead takes us on a journey of a young woman scrambling for survival amid dire circumstances, in a twist of a traditional narrative. Our leading lady isn't the unrivaled best; rather, she is clever, inventive, and primarily survives by sheer tenacity, willpower, and a a lot of good fortune.

You can expect the standard elements of a fantasy flick – while the narrative isn’t driven by them, they’re certainly present. The special effects are outstanding, putting recent MCU projects to shame. The exquisitely rendered locales present breathtaking panoramas and innovative visuals that carry the viewer through the story. Although the dragon is formidable and impressive in its full splendour, it does lose some of its terror when dragged into the daylight.

Millie Bobby Brown performs the action scenes, and portrays the princesses challenges impeccably. Yet, her uneven rendition of a British accent seems to detract her concentration from her performance. It seems like her focus on nailing the accent hinders her ability to evoke emotions, and this, unfortunately, lessens the emotional resonance of the film.

While the movie is entertaining, it essentially follows the usual action film formula. Except for the initial premise and impressive effects, there's little that's extraordinary about it. It was easy and agreeable viewing, but left me to ponder on what more I could add to this discussion.

Millie Bobby Brown as princess elodie realsing the dangers shes in after being thrown into the dragons lair
Millie Bobby Brown realising her predicament
The aimed target audience is somewhat ambiguous, considering its fantasy elements, action, and horror, which typically appeal to male audiences, yet the female characters dominate. Remembering the infamous 'evil queen' from fairy tales might help resolve the oddly silent King's role.

Regardless of the above, I believe "Damsel" will find its audience, as there are plenty of viewers, including women, who appreciate such narratives, and others like myself, always on the lookout for intriguing content. While it's not something I'm likely to revisit, it’s worth a watch if you've got some time and nothing else to watch.

Did you watch it, and how did you find it? Were you engrossed or casually looking at your phone while it played?

Thank you for your time, and until next - peace out.
I'm giving this a score of 5
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