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Netflix’s ‘Damsel,’ starring Millie Bobby Brown, is the girlboss movie NOBODY needed

Netflix’s ‘Damsel,’ starring Millie Bobby Brown, is the girlboss movie NOBODY needed

On March 8, Netflix released “Damsel,” a subversive take on the classic damsel-in-distress trope.

Starring “Stranger Things’” Millie Bobby Brown, “Damsel” follows the story of Elodie — a beautiful, yet humble, princess who’s been dealt a rather difficult set of cards. After marrying a rich and handsome prince for a lavish bride price that will save her impoverished people, Elodie finds that her new husband has no intentions of making her his wife. Rather, she is to be a sacrifice to pay an ancient debt.

Shortly after the marriage ceremony, Elodie is led into the mountains to perform a seemingly benign ritual. However, just when she thinks the odd blood-binding ceremony has concluded, the prince throws her into a dark abyss where a ghastly dragon waits to devour her. Elodie is the only one who can save herself from the jaws of the beast.

Now, before you get upset that we’ve just spoiled the entire movie for you, know this: everything mentioned above is “information that we, the audience, were given in the trailer for this film,” says Lauren Chen, noting that this was one of her many issues with the movie.

“The trailer for this movie, which was released months before the movie actually came out, contained 95% of the film's plot in it,” leaving only about “5%” remaining for the audience to discover, she says.

As for “Damsel’s” rejection of the traditional prince-saves-princess motif in an effort to be subversive, Lauren asks, “In 2024, can it really be said that deviating from the traditional fairy tale is actually subversive?”

“Something stops being subversive once it actually becomes the norm, and I feel like nowadays, it actually is very much the norm,” she explains, citing “Snow White and the Huntsman” as evidence.

In addition to the not-so-original deviation from the traditional fairy tale plotline, Princess Elodie is predictably characterized as “not like other princesses” in that she’s a “bada**” who engages in physical labor like woodchopping.

Further, the evil royal family she marries into is also predictably “a little stuffy” and obviously “Caucasian,” adds Lauren.

And while there’s nothing wrong with a movie that is predicated on female strength, “Damsel” “is pretty over-the-top cringey in terms of the girl-bossing.”

That’s not to say the film was entirely irredeemable, though.

In regard to “the production, design, the costuming, the set, [and] cinematography,” Lauren admits that “they did a really good job.”

But that’s where her praise ends.

To hear specific spoilers — such as Elodie’s strange “heart-to-heart” with the dragon (who talks, by the way), a poorly executed plot twist, and the moral framework of the story, which essentially centers around dismissing centuries of abominations in the name of victimhood — watch the clip below.

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