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Damsel - A Netflix Movie Review

'Damsel' is an action-packed fantasy that breaks new layers.

By Marielle SabbagPublished about a month ago 3 min read
Top Story - March 2024

This is not a story about a damsel in distress.

Damsel in a 2024 fantasy-action Netflix film. Elodie agrees to marry a handsome prince. At the wedding’s conclusion, the royal family recruits her as a sacrifice to repay an ancient debt. The young damsel fights for survival in the dark cave, home to a blood-thirsty dragon.

Boy, did I have this movie all wrong. Damsel is an action-packed fantasy that breaks new layers. What starts as your average royal fantasy evolves into an epic battle of survival, courage, and heroism. However, the film is too immersed in its morals and cunning action sequences, drifting away from its story.

Millie Bobby Brown is the ultimate powerhouse as Elodie. Elodie is an aggressive, adventurous, and brave young woman. Her role is similar to other performances like Enola Holmes, but Brown dictates impressive acting abilities.

Most of this film required physical action, like climbing steep vertical walls, jumping across cliffsides, and fighting a dragon. Elodie’s heroic demeanor breaks the aged damsel in distress trope. Strength comes in several forms, such as self-reliance.

Damsel has a great cast, though the supporting characters could have been utilized more. Robin Wright’s performance as the ruthless Queen Isabella is no Buttercup from The Princess Bride. Ray Winstone, Angela Bassett, Brooke Carter, and Nick Robinson are excellent. Credit also goes to Shohreh Aghdashloo for her voice work as the dragon.

Damsel is not your typical fairytale; it is a survivalist story. Damsel subverts genre expectations, establishing its own unique identity. Juan Carlos Fresnadillo paints a clear picture of the message, reflecting his vision in every frame. The script is both engaging and thought-provoking, exploring themes of identity, strength, and the capacity for transformation.

The narrative unfolds within the confines of a visually stunning cave, a setting that becomes a character of its own. The filmmakers trick you with the vibrant majestic sets of castles and beautiful period dresses that are nothing to Elodie’s tattered and blood-soaked clothes. Sure, there’s noticeable CGI but the visuals look real.

The story holds some similarities to the film, No One Will Save You (2023). Like the central character in that film, Elodie runs from danger and implements her impeccable survivalist skills. Since she is alone, there’s an unnecessary dialogue where Elodie’s feelings are evident in her body language.

Damsel is an effective story, but certain flaws ruined the realism. While I like the addition of the dragon speaking, her dialogue should have been fed off-camera, instead of seeing her speak.

The film becomes repetitive as Elodie travels through the cave, repeating actions and dialogue. In the latter half, Elodie’s journey is repeated. As I mentioned, supporting characters, like Bassett and Carter, could have been utilized more.

One of the film's standout qualities is its commitment to portraying women in roles of agency and strength. The word ‘damsel’ has changed significantly over time. Women are fighters, and women should know that. We have to help ourselves and not wait for rescue. Fairytales have always had the same ending, but morals have changed over time.

Damsel is an incredible story that challenges traditional tropes and delivers a powerful message about empowerment. The tension is palpable as Elodie navigates her way through the perils of the dark cave. Learn from mistakes, and don’t keep damaging wounds.

Damsel is one epic film that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats. I say that because I was most of the time. Watch it on Netflix. It is also intense, including thematic elements and painful injuries. Enjoy it for what it is.

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About the Creator

Marielle Sabbag

Writing has been my passion since I was 11 years old. I love creating stories from fiction, poetry, fanfiction. I enjoy writing movie reviews. I would love to become a creative writing teacher and leave the world inspiring minds.

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Comments (11)

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  • hasaghi kulobtonabout a month ago

    Full movie

  • Shelby Hagood about a month ago

    I liked how she thought she was out but it was really a hole that was too high to get out of so the only way out was back to the beginning again by climbing a rope.

  • Anna about a month ago

    Congrats on Top Story!🥳🥳🥳

  • Testabout a month ago

    Thank you. I've been wondering about this one.

  • Phil Flanneryabout a month ago

    I think Millie Bobby Brown is amazing and portrayed the hero perfectly. The action sequences were thrilling. I agree with most of what you stated, but the repetition of going through the caves was important as she had to learn it first, but they could have done it better. The problem with a lot of movies is they could be a series. They have to skip over so much to get to the action and then you're left wondering about so much. I still enjoyed the movie.

  • I've only just started it , but, apart from the pleasant shock of Ray Winstone being king, finding it excellent. Thanks for sharing this with us

  • Shirley Belkabout a month ago

    I watched the movie, too. I have to disagree with you on this point: "However, the film is too immersed in its morals and cunning action sequences, drifting away from its story." I think morals (or misplaced ones) were the center point of the entire movie. And the action scenes were not overplayed and totally necessary to guide the viewer through the battle/struggle the damsel found herself in. The damsel had always been self-empowered long before her arranged marriage, so that wasn't in question...the true issue was the lethal mistake of those involved to perceive a "mere damsel" as a victim. And I don't believe that morals have ever changed...people are just more willing to ignore right from wrong. I think the movie was excellent and the acting impeccable. Elodie was a female Rambo and GI Jane combined. Robin Wright's character was so brutal that she scared me! She was worse than the dragon, who in the end, had a renewed sense of purpose. Sorry, I have disagreed with your review. But I do agree that the movie held my attention.

  • L.C. Schäferabout a month ago

    It was a fun watch with my daughter, but we watched it in three sittings 😁 It definitely would have felt quite repetitive if we'd watched it all in one go. I didn't think MBB's acting was her best in this one. So you know if she did her own action/stunt scenes? I assumed so.

  • JBazabout a month ago

    I agree with most of what you wrote. I feel they could have shortened the cave ( repetitive scenes) and lengthened a more satisfying and not rushed end.

  • LASZLO SLEZAKabout a month ago


  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    This does seem very intriguing! I'll add it to my watchlist!

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