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Friday, 24 May 2013

Did the purple dragon slay Enchanted?

A villain is as important as the hero in a film.

Can one scene ruin an otherwise brilliant movie? I didn’t used to think so – it would have to be one hell of a god awful scene of Ed Woodian proportions.

But I fear that the otherwise wonderful Enchanted has one of those scenes.

The majority of Enchanted is fantastic. I remember being dragged to the cinema to watch it with Mrs Bear expecting nothing short of a ‘chick-flick’. To be honest, I only agreed to go along so not to ruin my chances of coitus (word to Sheldon Cooper).

Although I love Disney movies, before Enchanted I wasn’t interested in the ‘Princess’ films. It was over the course of watching Enchanted that I totally changed my stance. Enchanted is laugh-out-loud funny, heart-warming and surprisingly intelligent. Importantly, the film doesn’t take itself too seriously and it it’s “cartoons turn to life” concept isn’t ran to the ground.

The music in Enchanted are some of the best Disney has to offer; they are annoyingly catchy (just try to forget the ‘Happy Working Song’ once you’ve heard it) and they put stupid smiles on your face (the old people dancing to ‘How does she know’ gets me every time).

This is also the film where I utterly fell in love with Amy Adams – she is absolutely wonderful in this film. I simply can’t see any other actor doing what Adams did with Giselle. It may look easy playing an absent minded typical Disney princess, but the growth she had to show throughout the movie is bloody impressive.

Enchanted is great because it immerses you into its world. You believe that Amy Adams is the same cartoon princess that appeared at the start of the film, you believe that she has fallen in love with Robert instead of Prince Edward. All of the special effects work very well and the set pieces (the songs) lift this film from being just good to great.

But then Queen Narissa turns up and ruins it all. The problem with the Susan Sarandon’s villain in this film is that she doesn’t pass the Jafar test. She brings no fear factor, no sense of revolution or dread at all to Enchanted. She’s a very 2D character that feels out of place in this film and this is made obvious in the ball room scene.

The ball room scene is the only time when the special-effects look terrible. Not forgivable terrible, but WTF terrible. For some reason, Enchanted loses its (sorry) magic and it’s frustrating to watch. Did the film-makers just get lazy? What happened?

I mean, look at the purple dragon? Listen to the dialogue during that scene?

Enchanted could have been another Disney classic. It was so close, but for some reason it fell over at the last hurdle. They just didn’t put enough thought into the villain and the ‘boss fight’ at the end of the film. It’s a real shame.


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