By Isabella Nava Holstein
31 years ago on Sept 25, 1987, what was said to be the best fairytale film ever made was released: “The Princess Bride”. While it was not a huge success when first released in theaters, it has become a classic.
Based on the William Goldman novel and directed by Rob Reiner, the film takes place in the mythical country of Florin. After true loves, Buttercup and Westley are separated, they must go on an adventure to finally be together. This is the first modern fantasy film to be taken seriously as a film for adults and children.
The film transports its audience to the hills of Florin, captivating them with iconic characters like the spanish sword fighter who will avenge his father, Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin), the gentle giant Fezzik (Andre The Giant), the resourceful beauty Buttercup, (Robin Wright) and her one true love, Westley (Cary Elwes).
“The Princess Bride” is unique because, while it is a legitimate story of true love and fantasy, it is also a satire of the genre. With comedy, romance, adventure, and suspense all in one movie, it is no wonder that the film has been able to cultivate such a loyal following. This movie has paved way for movies to follow like “Shrek” and “Ella Enchanted.”
“It was a watershed for much that came after its release — suddenly, writers in fantasy felt free of the old constraints. Fantasy could be epic without being humorless, and it could be funny without falling into slapstick,” said bestselling author, Rachel Caine.
The cast contributes a realness to the film with their genuine acting. The actors create an urgency to the movie and make the audience want to keep watching.
Another reason this film has become a classic is because of the screenwriting. From “Hello I am Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, now prepare to die” to Vizzini’s incessant use of “Inconceivable!” this movie is filled with one-liners almost any fan can instantly recognize.
It is also notable that the movie is narrated by a grandfather to his grandson. This situation creates a different approach to the idea of a fairytale and who its audience should be.
Under all the comedy and adventure, there is an undeniably beautiful and classic love story between Buttercup and Westley, a love story that manages to have the audience continually root for them without making it overbearing or cliché. This film forever changed the fantasy genre and the meaning of Westley’s famous words, “As you wish.”