Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Twisted Fairy Tales

As a small girl, one of the things that framed my perception of romance was fairy tale princesses.  I was enamored with them all, especially the Disney’s – but there were some others that were priceless.  The Princess and the Pea, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Cinderella, just name one and I loved her. I even have some of the dolls.  My very favorites are Princess Tiana (The Princess and the Frog) and Princess Belle (Beauty and the Beast), a close third is Princess Fiona (Shrek).
Red Riding Hood Poster
I think we’re all pretty used to remakes of stories like these.  I mean, they represent the quintessential romance.  Both in cartoons and movies, it’s not uncommon to run across these plots.  I was initially dismayed when I say the odd looking version of Little Red Riding Hood, obviously I’m referring to Red Riding Hood.  I am fully aware that Red is not a princess, so it didn’t bother me that much and there’s a wolf in it… ‘nuff said.
But now, there’s a movie called Sleeping Beauty, which premeired at Cannes. It was released some time ago, however, I only just recently had an opportunity to review it.  Sleeping Beauty, rather Princess Aurora has long been an underrated classic.  It was, after all, about time for the world to have another gem of a movie based on a regal and delicate flower.  Who better than Sleeping Beauty to enchant us as her sweet prince awakens her with true love’s kiss?
Julia Leigh is an enterprising, new director and screenwriter, and her first movie is about none other than our fair maiden, Sleeping Beauty.  Well, that’s the title anyway.  It is not about a damsel in distress, asleep in the woods on a pedestal after finding herself the victim of an enchanted apple, no , no, no.  This movie is about as far from the fairy tale as could be.
From a 50,000 foot level, a young college student named Lucy (Emily Browning of Suckerpunch) is trying desperately to balance living expenses and caring for a friend that is an ex-drug addict.  She eventually lands a job as a silver server, and dreams of one day becoming a Sleeping Beauty.  No, really, that’s the job title.  It involves heavy sedation and apparently, copious amounts of nudity latent with sexual overtures throughout the course of the movie.  I’m not spoiling, even though many of the reviewers are, but it is indeed a twisted tale.
I don’t know about you, but that’s not how I remember this story.  Further, I’m not sure if I’m okay with it.  I mean, isn’t there enough mess out there with which to contend besides the dressing down of the few available princesses..es.

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