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Damsel Review: Millie Bobby Brown Oozes Girl Power

Millie Bobby Brown oozes girl power in the new Netflix film, Damsel, which delivers important lessons about staying strong even during tough situations.

Damsel movie review

Damsel. (L-R) Brooke Carter as Floria and Millie Bobby Brown as Elodie in Damsel. Cr. John Wilson/Netflix ©2024

Netflix’s Damsel is a powerful twist on the classic fairytale trope that a Prince must swoop in to save the damsel in distress. Millie Bobby Brown oozes girl power as she is faced with what seems like an impossible task — defeat a fire breathing dragon who is extremely disgruntled.

When Elodie (Brown) is tricked in to what seems like a fairytale wedding, she quickly realizes her mistake as she is thrust into a dragon’s layer as some sort of sacrifice. Refusing to just lay down and die, Damsel follows Elodie as she does everything in her power to survive, and to set things straight.

Damsel movie review

Damsel. (L-R) Millie Bobby Brown as Elodie and Nick Robinson as Prince Henry in Damsel. Cr. John Wilson/Netflix ©2024

This Netflix movie is packed with suspenseful moments and a whole lot of action. Millie Bobby Brown was the perfect choice as she looks the part of a princess, while having the badass moves to go toe-to-toe with a dragon. Something that really works with Damsel is that Elodie does not immediately have the guts to take on the dragon, and she certainly doesn’t know what she is doing.

All too often movies like this will all of a sudden thrust the lead into situations they would never escape in real life, and has them do it without a scratch on them. While Elodie does have great survival instincts that kick in, she takes her hits too. These are intense situations with high stakes, and it isn’t easy for her. 

Damsel movie review

Damsel. (L-R) Millie Bobby Brown as Elodie and Brooke Carter as Floria in Damsel. Cr. John Wilson/Netflix ©2024

Damsel doesn’t take too long to put Elodie into these situations, which is a good thing because just reading the synopsis will set viewers up for what is to come. If the movie took its time before putting Elodie in peril, it would have have dragged. Luckily they waste almost no time, only giving us the first act so that we can understand the situation and know some things that will come in handy in the future. 

Brooke Carter, who plays Elodie’s sister Floria, has wonderful on screen chemistry with Millie Bobby Brown. The two truly feel like sisters. She isn’t in the movie a lot, but when she is, she earns her spot on the screen. 

Damsel movie review

Damsel. (L-R) Ray Winstone as Lord Bayford and Angela Bassett as Lady Bayford in Damsel. Cr. Netflix ©2023

The same can be said for Angela Bassett, who quite frankly feels underused. She portrays Elodie and Floria’s stepsister and while she certainly shines in the movie, we could have used more time with her. It almost feels as if her character is done dirty, however we also understand needing to stick to a breezy runtime and remain under two hours for a film like this. Ray Winstone is fantastic as well, and a wonderful choice to play the girls’ father. 

One of the biggest issues that this movie has is the dialogue. This is not the strong suit here, no matter which actor is doing the best they can with the script they are given. There are only a handful of times it doesn’t come off as forceful and being there only to drive the story forward, rather than allow us to connect with the characters.

The choice that Damsel makes to have the dragon breath fire as well as what appears to be molten lava at the same time is a strange one. It brings something unique to the movie that we don’t often see, but it doesn’t exactly look good. In fact, the CG overall isn’t the best. Now, we did see it on the big screen in a theater, so it is sure to look better on a small screen while streaming at home. 

At the same time, the dragon mostly looks really good, however there are few moments where it misses the mark. The overall design is unique and very, very, cool, but we can’t help but think they gave us too much of her. When something that is supposed to be scary is shown less often, and only alluded to in the shadows, it tends to be more effective. Still, her part of the story is incredible and brings a lot of heart to Damsel.

Damsel movie review

Damsel. Millie Bobby Brown as Elodie. Cr. John Wilson / Netflix © 2023

Damsel turns the average fairytale on its head as we see Elodie face her fears and put everything she has into her survival. At the same time, she is strong willed where it matters, plotting to expose those who have done her wrong and enact revenge on them.

During the third act, there is a major reveal that elevates the film to a whole new level. Should they have shied away from this, the movie would not work nearly as well as it does.

This movie is inspiring and is sure to be a treat for young women, who have a lot to learn from it. Millie Bobby Brown commands attention and is able to carry the film while she is alone on screen, which is most of the time. Her supporting cast does exactly that, supports her in ways that help this movie to become something special.

Damsel starts streaming on Netflix March 8th, and should not be missed.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

NEXT: Seagrass Review: A Heartbreaking Exploration Of Family

Damsel netflix movie poster

About Damsel 

A dutiful damsel agrees to marry a handsome prince, only to find the royal family has recruited her as a sacrifice to repay an ancient debt. Thrown into a cave with a fire-breathing dragon, she must rely on her wits and will to survive.

Damsel comes to Netflix on March 8th.