Netflix Damsel (Honest) Review: Royalty, Dragons, and a lot of Cliché

Netflix Damsel (Honest) Review Royalty, Dragons, and a lot of Cliché

Millie Bobby Brown’s latest Netflix venture, “Damsel,” takes the fairytale narrative on a new spin… right?

Gone are the days when the “damsel” was in distress, needing a knight in shining armor to save her from all the cruelty in the world. It’s the 21st century, after all, and we see women’s empowerment being encouraged all over the globe. But the question remains: Did Netflix Damsel offer us something new, or is it just another “women can stand on their own without men” type of story?

Trailer Reveals the Whole Movie

Firstly, this is NOT how to make a trailer. Netflix essentially showed the entire movie in the trailer, revealing all the key events and summarizing the plot. Just from the trailer alone, viewers know how the story unfolds, removing all elements of surprise. Well, in my opinion, there were actually no surprises in the movie itself. But I’ll leave you guys to decide that.

Everything Comes with a Price

Elodie, portrayed by Millie Bobby Brown, is the daughter of Lord Bayford (Ray Winstone), residing in a region riddled with poverty. Lord Bayford agrees to a marriage arrangement where Elodie will wed Prince Henry in exchange for gold that could salvage and improve the lives of their people. Seems pretty straightforward.

However, Lord Bayford makes a deal behind closed doors. I’m inclined to say ‘spoiler alert,’ but then again, the trailer already spoiled everything. After meeting Prince Henry, they hastily marry, and Elodie is taken to a mountain where a ceremony takes place. Elodie is then thrown into a pit as a sacrifice. She survives the fall, and this is where her true adventure and the main storyline of the movie unfolds.

Accept Your Fate or Fight Back

There wouldn’t be a story if Elodie didn’t fight back. And so she does everything she can to survive and find a way out. I must admit, there were times when I almost wanted to yell at my TV, telling Elodie not to do this or that. It’s a classic case of the character knowing what NOT to do but doing it anyway.

Netflix Damsel Elodie
Courtesy: Netflix

Of course, if this happened in real life, I would probably also be under so much stress that my decisions would be clouded, so I can’t be too mad. We also have to consider that her character, according to Screen Rant, is around 16-20 years old. The pit or dungeon scenes were nothing new. I must say that not one part of the entire movie got me excited or had my heart racing. It was pretty obvious that she was going to figure out somehow what she had to do and miraculously have the strength to do all the crazy stunts. But hey, it’s a movie after all.

Frustrating Script and Cliché Storyline

Out of everything in the movie, the script was the thing that really had me scratching. At one point, Elodie tries to reason out and explain things to the dragon. However, she tries to ‘explain’ things without really explaining anything. The sequences in the movie also feel like they lacked context, and things just happened out of the blue. It didn’t give me, as an audience, a chance to feel some attachment to any of the characters.

Netflix Damsel Lord Bayford
Courtesy: Netflix

“Damsel” felt like the aim was to break the usual old-school fairytale storyline. However, it seems that they failed in execution. It’s still the typical ‘happy’ ending, albeit without marrying the perfect prince or man of her dreams. In the end, I could honestly say, “I knew that was going to happen,” even without seeing the trailer first. There were no climaxes or twists that the audience wouldn’t expect. Overall, Netflix’s “Damsel” is a movie that you can watch just for the sake of having something to watch. Is it something I would recommend to my friends? Unfortunately, not.

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