Sunday, 16 October 2011

The Princess Bride

I remember when I was in my teens and one gloomy Sunday afternoon, BBC2 was showing The Princess Bride. Not sure why I decided to watch it because let’s face it the title isn’t a title of the film a teenage lad would watch, but I did and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. I love it when this happens, when you find a film that you know nothing about, have never heard of before, and just watch on the off chance, and it turns out to be a classic that ends up being one of your favourite films of all time. I suppose in the age of IMDb and other movie sites; it is more difficult to know nothing about a film before you see it, but back in the late 80’s that was the norm.

At the time I had never seen a film like it before, and to be honest there has not been many since, at least not many which can match the sheer brilliance of Rob Reiner’s adaptation. Fantasy books are never easy to adapt especially before the CGI age, but this film is more about characters and dialogue than it is about fantasy. The film is nearly as famous for its one liner’s as its story.

The story as we all know is about true love, and a simple tale of farm boy loving the most beautiful girl in the world, but not feeling worthy of her love until he goes away and makes his fortune. After this opening you may have raised your eyes and said oh not again, but then after the opening the story is about pirates, kidnapping, monsters, revenge, deceit, near death, torture, overcoming overwhelming odds and finally you guessed it, true love and happiness.  All cleverly mixed together with a twist of subtle humour, sarcasm and irony, to make a fantastic film.

This film always has the ability to put a smile on my face, and so I was overjoyed when I found out my local cinema was showing it once more. There are lots of old films I would love to see at the cinema, and I jumped at the chance to watch this classic. And it did not let me down, it is still great no matter how many times you see it, you still always leave with a smile on your face and warm feeling in your heart. Isn’t great when films can do that?

I read a lovely article this morning, talking to the stars and director now, 24 years later. They all still have fond memories of making the film; one part of the discussion that stands out for me is by the Mandy Patinkin (who played Inigo Montoya; he had the best line in the film, “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.), he said, “I sat with my wife watching the film, and at the end I was crying. My wife said, “What’s the matter?” I said, “I never dreamed I would get to be in anything like this.”

To me that just says it all.

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