The Princess Bride is a classic love story with a comedic hero movie backdrop. With a sick boy in bed (Fred Savage), his grandfather (Peter Falk) stops by to read him a story to cheer him up. Like most “hero with a sword” movies like Robin Hood, you have a damsel in distress (“Buttercup” played by Robin Wright Penn) who falls for the poor farm boy turned hero (“Wesley” played by a young Cary Elwes) who has to save the day and rescue the girl. This hero story, however, will leave you trying to be serious when you keep chuckling at the humor throughout. You also have a cast of characters, in every sense of the word, ranging from Mandy Patinkin, Christopher Guest, Chris Sarandon, Billy Crystal and Andre’ the Giant as well as other well known actors.
As the movie starts, a boy (Fred Savage) is playing a video game, home sick in bed, his grandfather comes over to read him “The Princess Bride” book that has been read throughout the generations. The main character, Wesley, works as a farm boy where Buttercup orders him around, slowly falling in love with him. After assuring his grandson that “this is not just a kissing book,” we find Wesley finding work on the sea to better support them, but his ship was attacked by pirates.
Thinking her true love is dead and stricken with grief, Buttercup vows never to love anyone else, but is forced to get engaged to Prince Humperdinck, played by Chris Sarandon. As the story unfolds, the princess-to-be gets kidnapped. Unknown to her, Wesley is on the trail to save her. You don’t want to miss the great sword fighting, laced with witty banter from the swordsman, on the cliffs of insanity either. The man in black (Wesley) proves that his strength and brains are truly “inconceivable” as he is tested to save his true love from the captors.
With a surprise attack on the castle, fantasy creatures, and daring escapes, The Princess Bride really has it all. The music plays an equal role in The Princess Bride. An example of this would be from one of the great sword fighting scenes in the movie, where the beats of the music are in sync with the clashing of the swords. Or, going back to the one of the best scenes from the movie, as mentioned above, which involved fighting on a multi-level rocky cliff. As Wesley (Cary Elwes) and Indigo (Mandy Patinkin) maneuver around the rocky terrain, the background music moves quite nicely to fit the constant movement of the scene.
The casting of the lead characters was superb. With lots of cameo appearances and the witty humor that flows through the story, The Princess Bride will surely keep your attention and anticipation working as there are little surprises throughout. I would not expect a superb display of drama or action when you watch it, but rather witty humor and a nice romance movie set in times long ago, that has some sword fighting that even the guys will like.