Many girls dream of being a princess and Elodie became one, but is it all that it’s cracked up to be?

Netflix released their newest original movie, “Damsel,” on March 8. Be warned there will be spoilers up ahead, so perhaps you’ll want to watch the movie first before seeing what I thought. 

The Heroine of the film, Elodie (Millie Bobby Brown), is placed into an arranged marriage to save her desolate land, struggling to make it through a harsh winter. After making peace with this arrangement and even allowing excitement to stir in her, the idea of a marriage of convenience doesn’t seem too bad. 

She is set to marry Prince Henry (Nick Robinson) of Aurea. They have chemistry right from the start. They have similar hopes, dreams and interests. 

However, this new romance quickly turns sideways and the true meaning behind the wedding is revealed. It is a trap; all a facade and by the time Elodie figures this out, it is far too late. Elodie’s blossoming feelings toward the prince turn into betrayal and shock. Before she can even comprehend what’s happening, she is thrown into a dragon’s lair… literally. 

In Elodie’s world, there is an ancient prophecy that has been told for centuries. The tale goes that long ago a king went into a dragon’s lair to slay the beast, but instead, he killed the dragon’s three daughters. As revenge, the dragon took what the king loved most, his own three daughters. 

To keep up the prosperity of the kingdom, every year three girls must be thrown into the dragon’s lair. This kingdom just so happens to be the one that Elodie is marrying into. Queen Isabel of Aurea (Robin Wright), convinces Elodie’s father, Lord Bayford (Ray Winstone), to sacrifice his daughter to save his land. 

The night before the wedding, Elodie’s stepmother, Lady Bayford (Angela Bassett), and her sister, Floria (Brooke Carter), come into her room. Whilst Floria relishes the fact they are in a castle, Lady Bayford has concerns. Something seems very off to her and she believes that this wedding is a mistake. Lady Bayford’s concerns are ignored. 

After the ceremony, to pay honor to the ancestors, the newlyweds head up to a mountain. They are greeted by people in robes and masks (which is where a red flag should have been raised but apparently this is a common thing to see on a mountain). 

To unite them, the queen takes both Henry and Elodie’s hands, slices it with a knife and makes them hold hands. (Red flag number two.) Whilst walking back to the carriage, Henry throws her into the abyss that is the lair of the dragon—red flag three and time for an annulment. 

This is when the action truly begins. Elodie must fight to escape the Dragon’s wrath in order to survive. She must use her wits and courage to make it through the torment up ahead. She has to hide from the fire the dragon breathes and use what is around her as a resource. 

I was skeptical of the movie at first, I was thinking just like a lot of the other Netflix Originals that it would have cringe worthy scenes, a diluted message, and a confusing plot line. This movie was well thought out and with a strong message.

What is great about the movie other than the casting, is its message. The themes of courage and perseverance are awe-inspiring. Another subtle lesson is revealed when Elodie uses her dress and hair. It shows desperation but also proves that her worth comes from more than her beauty and her status. 

The movie breaks away from typical prince and princess story lines, it switches the normal narrative. Prince comes to save the princess from a scary dragon and they fall in love, rather the princess saves herself and shows that she can save herself. The storyline had similarities to other fantasy films, but it also follows its own plot away from the typical fairytale. 

The relationship between Elodie and her family only grows throughout the movie. Together they face hardships, trials and betrayal but it is crystal clear that they would move heaven and earth for each other. They are the perfect depiction of love that knows no bounds. 

Elodie is courageous, not because she isn’t scared but because she believes her mother’s mantra: “Never back away from a fight.” To call Elodie anything other than a straight-up genius would be an understatement. Even in the most intense, high-pressure situations, she uses her resourcefulness and wits to make her way out of the cave. 

One thing about the movie is that there were so many loose ends and questions that don’t have answers. Why was the queen not included as a sacrifice? Why was she the only queen or princess not thrown to the lair? Why did the dragon stay in the cave? There was a girl that Elodie saw from her window the night before she got married and then saw her dead in the cave, who was she? How is she connected to all of it?

There were more questions than answers; more confusion than sitting content with the happy ending. Either way, this movie was intriguing, adventurous and unlike other movies that had a prince and princess in it. Many princess movies want to wrap the movie up in a love story but this was more about Elodie finding strength within herself. 

Give this movie a watch if you are interested in movies that have fantasy, fighting, action and adventure! While there were some unanswered questions, this was still a good watch. Frequently Netflix originals tend to be cringy with poor plots but this one exceeded my expectations.