There are stories that remain long in the heart of the reader and/or the spectator. One of the rare cases, which has been respected in paper and celluloid form, is certainly The Princess Bride. It is in fact a monumental cult fantasy signed in 1987 by Rob Reiner and drawn from the story of the writer William Goldman, author of the script. A project that was born after more than a decade of negotiation and contractual/financial controversies, The Princess Bride finds magic from within the best fairy tales in realistic and effective realization. Revealing a work suitable for large audiences and children, William Goldman’s screenplay (based on his book), truly is a timeless classic.
A familiar story of a princess, her true love, and the strength that lies within them both, this is a story for all ages. The way in which the fairy-tale part of the story is performed by Goldman and Reiner is also quite memorable. As any fan of the film will tell you, however, it’s the whimsical, irreverent, pervasive language that make it an unskilled masterpiece. The plot is illustrated with extreme genuineness and, although it seems rich in chimeric elements, it actually has a very simple system. More challenging than expected, the film entertains with many funny jokes, and communicates a very precise moral importance. That importance, for me at least, is the rediscovery and revaluation of a good book. The Princess Bride is fantasy matrix where the hero, as he competes in his role, lies ahead of real quest to overcome and continue his goal.
The first half seems to follow quite classical rules of the genre, then turning to a pleasant and fresh originality. Originality that is already reflected in the narrative prologue, set in reality, which is also offered as a reading invitation for the younger audiences. After the first rescue of the princess, The Princess Bride turns definitively into an epic adventure that makes its striking base lightness invigorating; the love-story that permeates every single act of the leading couple has a magical flavor that in a similar, but different way refers to another little previous cult as Ladyhawke (1985). Avoiding any sort of stubbornness, spurs the spectator to cheer for the longing reunion of the two beloved, united and separated on several occasions by a cruel fate.
Rob Reiner is very skilled in reconciling pure entertainment for both adults and children (although the torture scene may partially disturb the younger ones) with the strength of the sentiment called love, found in the inspired comedy tones, and in an other elements that are able to blur the context in the best of ways. The fantastic suggestion is well present in rudimentary, but effective special effects, with giant rats and mobile sands of sorts. But perhaps one of the most special parts about this film is the perfect alchemy of the cast. If Cary Elwes and the beautiful Robin Wright masterfully embody the power of pure and unconditional love, the supporting actors have all the right facets: from wrestler André the Giant to Mandy Patinkin to an unrecognizable Billy Crystal as the wizard of the Max of Miracles. All in all this perfectly balanced comedic fairy-tale is populated with unforgettable characters and a remarkable story.
Contributed By Gianluca Galimberti