Classic Movie Review: The Princess Bride

ALEX SCHADRIE | ENTERTAINMENT COLUMNIST

Whenever I hear the words “romantic comedy,” I always think about films that are filled with more romance than comedy, but then I saw “The Princess Bride.” Based on the 1973 novel of the same name, “The Princess Bride” is a story about a man named Westley, who must reunite with the love of his life, Buttercup, after she has been taken by a trio of criminals. After rescuing Buttercup, Westley must stop her marriage to a prince with the wicked intention of starting a war between his country and the neighboring country. Aside from the interesting plot line and the large amount of comedy, this film also has an impressive cast listing, with such names as Peter Falk, Fred Savage, Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, André the Giant, Wallace Shawn, and many more.

The movie starts out with a boy (Fred Savage), who is sick at home, when his grandfather (Peter Falk) comes to visit and decides to read him a book titled “The Princess Bride.” In the book, a beautiful woman named Buttercup (Robin Wright) is seen ordering around a farmhand named Westley (Cary Elwes), who only replies to her with “As you wish”. Eventually, Buttercup realizes that Westley is in love with her and she begins to fall in love with him. Later, Westley decides to journey out to sea so that he can strike it rich and marry Buttercup, but his ship is reportedly attacked by the Dread Pirate Roberts and Westley is killed. Upon hearing this news, Buttercup mourns the loss of her love and falls into a deep depression.

Five years later, Buttercup reluctantly agrees to marry Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon), the prince of Florin, even though she is still in love with Westley. One day, while riding her horse, Buttercup is kidnapped by a man named Vizzini (Wallace Shawn) and his two henchmen: a master fencer named Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) and a kind-hearted giant named Fezzik (André the Giant). While journeying to Guilder so that they can kill Buttercup and start a war between Florin and Guilder, Vizzini and his men notice that are being followed by a masked man in black. Hoping to lose him, the trio climb the Cliffs of Insanity, but the man is surprisingly able to keep up with them by climbing the cliffs. In a last-ditch effort, Vizzini orders Inigo and Fezzik to kill the man while he escapes with Buttercup.

After he knocks out both Inigo and Fezzik and kills Vizzini, the man in black takes Buttercup as his prisoner and runs when he sees that Prince Humperdinck, who has been tracking Vizzini from the start, is getting closer. While escaping through the Fire Swamp, which is filled with dangers like fire spurts, quicksand and giant rats, Buttercup finds out that the man is really Westley and that he has taken up the mantle of the Dread Pirate Roberts after the previous one retired. Once the couple reaches the other side of the Fire Swamp, they are met by Humperdinck and his men.

While Westley is ready to fight, Buttercup decides to return with Humperdinck, in hopes that Westley will be released. While Humperdinck and Buttercup ride off, Westley is knocked out and sent to the castle’s torture chamber. When Buttercup refuses to marry Humperdinck, the prince tells her that he will search for Westley, even though he never does and even tortures Westley close to death when Buttercup finds out about his deception. After being rescued by Fezzik and Inigo, Westley and his friends must prepare to rescue Buttercup before she marries Humperdinck.

As a whole, I would have to say that this was by far one of the most ridiculous movies I have ever seen. Throughout most of the movie, I just could not help but question and laugh at how ridiculous some of the characters seemed to act. Out of all the characters, I would have to say that Inigo Montoya was the most ridiculous character. From helping his enemy up a cliff so that he did not have to wait to kill him, to finding the strength to kill his father’s murderer by continuously saying a phrase despite bleeding out, Inigo Montoya’s ridiculous personality certainly made this film a lot more interesting and fun to watch. While there are several scenes that were just so weird and ridiculous, I would have to say that this was still an enjoyable film that everyone should watch at some point in time.

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