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


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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *