Enchanted (2007) Photo Credits: Cold Open via IMP Awards
Once upon a time in a magical kingdom known as Andalasia... Narrator Julie Andrews begins the story. Amy Adams stars as a damsel – not in distress, contrary to ordinary fairytale stories. This movie is a perfect fit to be featured for BitLanders Film Series to support women empowerment as it showcases a journey of a lost comicbook girl finding her way to discovering what real love truly is, while escaping the norm that women are meant to be saved by knights-in-shining-armor. Enchanted is a story from a nonexistent Disney fairytale plunged into modern-day real world, bound to debunk all existent fairytale concepts we know of true love.
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ENCHANTED: THE BEGINNING
Enchanted begins as animated fairytale. There is a magical kingdom called Andalasia, and there lived an evil queen. Pretty much like your ordinary Fairytale story, huh? Well, this evil queen is described as selfish and cruel. She has a stepson, who, of course, is the kingdom's prince. As per narration, the queen has lived her life fearing that one day her stepson, the prince, would marry, which could mean that she will lose her throne forever. Evil queens love thrones, don't they? And so the power and authority that comes with it. As obvious as it seems, the evil queen doesn't want that idea, and is all set to do what it takes to prevent the prince from meeting a maiden to wed.
So what did the evil queen do? It starts out very mild. She tasked her loyal henchman to distract the prince away from possible encounter with any lady, and drove his interest into hunting trolls in the forests. Nothing horrible and endangering, right? Plus, the prince seemed to really like hunting trolls. But...
One day, when the prince and the evil queen's henchman were out in the forests hunting a troll – actually the prince already captured the troll at this point… they heard a lovely voice of a maiden singing and resounding within the entirety of the forests. The prince was captivated. The henchman nervously pretended not to hear anything, or he'd be dead once the evil queen knows. He tried to distract the prince, and divert his attention but to no luck. The next thing he knew, the prince already went out of his way into tracing where the lovely voice comes from. With no more good idea left, the henchman decides to free the troll to devour the owner of the lovely voice. Both the prince and the troll raced, but the troll, with gigantic steps, reached the maiden's home first and tried to eat her.
Giselle and her animal friends Photo Credits: WatchConLines via watchconlines.com
And just like how everyone from the audience would guess, the prince came to her rescue. And with a much more obvious next scene, the lovely maiden survived and fell into the arms of the prince. They were both captivated of each other, and voila! They fell in love, and the prince declared they'll be married the next morning. Oh, a true fairytale! Unrealistic in all forms, hmm.
Let's make it more fairytale-ish... It appears like the loyal henchman already reported to his evil queen what happened just before he freed the troll. And so in the next scene, the evil queen watched the pair, the prince and the lovely maiden, in each other's arms, through her magic mirror. Magic mirror! Was it even on the wall?
The Evil Queen Photo Credits: Joe Strike via Animation World Network
Then the evil queen decided to be the evil one in the story she's supposed to be. She plotted to stop the wedding. When the morning came that the prince and the lovely maiden would marry, she disguised as a freaking scary, hunched, old woman in black-hooded dress. As the lovely maiden entered the kingdom, she magically appeared and invited the maiden over to a place where one could wish. If it was reality, anyone wouldn't dare come with her. But it was fantasy-fiction.
So the lovely maiden went with her, while she seemed to be slightly, forcefully dragging her. And they arrived in a beautiful place with a captivating well. The disguised evil queen lured the lovely maiden over the wishing well to bid her wish before wedding, but as she was about to finish saying she wants to live happily ever after, the evil queen pushed her over to fall into the depths of the well. But will our protagonist die? Oh not really. When the loyal henchman asked his queen where she sent the poor maiden down, she replied with a big, evil grin in her lips... To a place where there are no happily ever afters. What an evil queen!
Enchanted - Official Trailer (HD) Video Credits: Kevin Lima via BitLanders
And this is where the true journey of our protagonist, the poor maiden, begins. The journey to finding her way back to her prince and have her long awaited true love's kiss. But can she find her way back to Andalasia and marry the prince? This movie is probably one of the very few Disney movies I loved, alongside Mulan and The Lion King, which are both real animated Disney films.
Amy Adams as Giselle: From Andalasia to New York City
So, as a recap, the evil queen had successfully stopped the wedding by sending our poor maiden down the wishing well, into a land where there are no happily ever afters. Hmmm.. I just found out I haven't named the characters yet up until now. So let's scrape all the generics and properly introduce the characters we know so far.
The protagonist; she is the lovely maiden the prince heard singing in the forests. She is the movie's protagonist... Not the prince, not the evil queen. And by the way, she is looking for her true love's kiss. That's actually what she's been singing about in the forests. Giselle is performed by American, Italian-born actress, Amy Adams.
(2) Prince Edward
He is the prince who rescued our protagonist in the hands of the freed troll. He heard Giselle singing in the forest and got captivated on the spot. When he met the our lovely maiden, he professed his heart out and declared to marry her in the morning. Not so fast! Prince Edward was performed by American actor, James Marsden.
(3) Queen Narissa
The evil queen and the antagonist; she is the stepmother of Prince Edward who have been hindering him to meet a lady to wed. She wants to be sitted on the throne forever, and would do what it takes to keep her in power. And so she pushed Giselle down the wishing well and sent her to a place where there are no happily ever afters. Evil Queen Narissa was performed by American actress and activist, Susan Sarandon.
The loyal henchman of the evil queen; he has dedicated his life in service to the queen. He has been an instrument in preventing Prince Edward from meeting a lady, by distracting him into troll hunting. Later on we will see why he has been so loyal to the evil queen all along, and if he will remain like it until the end. Nathaniel was performed by English actor, Timothy Spall.
Going back to the story, our Giselle is already in the place where there are no happily ever afters. Apparently, New York City has no happily ever afters. I'm not sure if the message intended to mean it is the reality that has no happily ever afters. But, Giselle came out of a manhole, dressed in a balloon wedding gown, in the middle of the busy New York. She, of course, was in utter shock, and fear, and confusion. She believes she is lost, far from her land of Andalasia.
Amy Adams as Giselle Photo Credits: John Frost via The Disney Blog
Out into her wandering within the city, she saw this playhouse or a store, with a design of kingdom palace. Because she doesn't know anything about the real world (isn’t it obvious?), she thought it was the kingdom, climbed past a car into a ladder and came knocking onto the door. On a moving taxicab, she was seen by a six-year old kid who thought she was a real princess. The kid came running to her out of the cab, followed by the kid's father who was so worried by the kid 's act.
When the man (father) saw that the "princess" was a real human and not a mannequin, he went to negotiate with Giselle to step down for it was too dangerous to be up in the billboard-like structure. At one point, Giselle fell off high, but got luckily rescued by the man. Since it was raining heavy, and Giselle was soaking wet with no place to go to, both the man and the kid agreed to let her come with them in their home.
So, who are these new characters, and how are they going to contribute to Giselle's story?
The kid's father who rescued Giselle from falling off the store's billboard; he is a divorce lawyer, and a single parent to his only daughter. Robert was played by Grey's Anatomy actor, Patrick Dempsey.
The kid who ran out from the taxicab to approach our damsel. She likes Giselle so much that she convinced her father to let Giselle stay in their home, because she believes she is a real princess. At one point she asked Giselle if she was indeed a princess, to which our protagonist replied... not yet, but soon will be, after marrying Prince Edward. Morgan was played by American child actress, Rachel Covey.
Happy Working Song: with Birds, Flies, Rodents and Cockroaches!
When the three arrived at Robert's place, Morgan tried convincing him to let Giselle stay because the kid believes she might really be a princess. After all, she already fell asleep by the couch. Robert, however, argues not because she wears fancy dress doesn't mean she is a princess. He even claimed Giselle as a very confused woman. He told his daughter to go to her room and was about to book a car to accompany Giselle. But as he looked at the sleeping maiden, he decided to not push through with the idea and let the poor lady stay for the night.
The next morning, Giselle woke up to the sight of a very dirty and completely messed up home. Thinking it was unacceptable, she decided to have the house cleaned, with the help of some newfound friends. She called on for back up of groups of birds, flies, rodents and cockroaches. A rather funny scene, over yucky! Will it not really look like this had all these fairytales are converted to real-life setting? Imagine cockroaches, rats straight from drainage and dumpsites, were cleaning your used plates and utensils. Eww!
Amy Adams in Enchanted Photo Credits: Fred Topel via SlashFilm
Morgan saw a bit of what happened and woke her father up to see all the nasty beings partying inside their home. They both worked to shoo them out. Meanwhile, Giselle was taking a bath in the shower when Robert approached her. He was shocked and a bit shy to see her almost naked, but she really doesn't mind. After all, she was too naive and unaware because she has a rather pure and innocent mind.
Robert was tidying up the shower room floor when the birds flew in Giselle's command to help him out. But they accidentally bumped Robert making him tumble out of the open door, taking Giselle in the fall along with him. Both were in a very awkward position – Giselle on top of Robert. What a bad timing for his longtime fashion designer girlfriend, Nancy, played by Broadway actress Idina Menzel, to arrive and catch them on the spot. As a result? Nancy walked out of the house, mad and frustrated. Robert tried to follow her but to no success as Nancy already got into the cab.
Robert was upset. He blamed Giselle for what happened. Poor Giselle! She was not aware of what was going on. She felt bad that Nancy thought she and Robert "kissed".
Meanwhile, in Andalasia... the evil queen was still watching over Giselle in New York. She believes that Giselle still wants to head back to Andalasia and marry the prince because the maiden is after the throne. Desperate, she sends Nathaniel, her loyal henchman, to New York to kill Giselle.
Nathaniel plunged out of the same manhole. He then came across Prince Edward who also happened to also be in New York City after he, together with Pip the chipmunk, followed Giselle when she fell off the wishing well. The prince tasked Nathaniel to help him find his lady. Little did he know that Nathaniel is also out finding for her to kill her.
Giselle Tries to Convince Robert: That's How You Know!
Robert was determined to let Giselle go off by herself, thinking she'd been causing too much mess in his life. A little while ago, he brought her with him on his appointment at work but caused commotion when she cried after finding out Robert's clients are getting divorced and separated forever.
He gave Giselle some money for transport and others while she’s looking for Prince Edward. She agreed and went on her way, but as Robert turned back around, he saw her giving money to an old woman who told her she saw the prince (which was really true). Robert ran to her and seemed to have changed his mind.
Amy Adams stars in “Enchanted.” Photo Credits: Barry Wetcher via NYTimes
They walked together and talked about what was happening, especially with Nancy. At this point, Giselle suggested a couple of ideas, including him telling Nancy that he really loves her to let her know of his feelings. He responds by saying he does and that Nancy knows about it. But then she starts out singing, "how does she know you love her?"
Also, at this part, Robert educates Giselle of how love, in reality, works. It doesn't work like in fairytales where you meet in a day and decided you love each other so much you'll proceed to marriage. When you meet a person, you try to get to know each other, probably through dates, and talk about each other. Giselle thought it was rather a weird perspective at love. But at the later part of the movie, she seemed to have picked up the idea.
Giselle and Robert Starts to Fall for Each Other
One night Robert tried to question Giselle's faith and dedication to the idea that Prince Edward would come and rescue her. Of course, being realistic, Robert thinks that everything that's happening might just really be out of his grasp, but still what if no prince is looking for her?
However, Giselle got frustrated about Robert's negative mindset. At one point, they were so close to each other and seemingly, Giselle was getting attracted to Robert. They were even about to kissed, until Robert decided to step back.
Giselle and Prince Edward Photo Credit: Disney Copyright via DigitalSpy
The next morning, as they were having breakfast, Prince Edward arrived in their place, shocking both of them including Rachel. He asked Giselle to come with her to Andalasia and get married, but Giselle refused at first, stating that she would want them to go out on a date first before marriage. She asked him to go on the ball with her. As a promise, after that, they would go back to the kingdom to wed.
Giselle and Robert: So Close
At the night of the ball, Robert was with Nancy, while Giselle came with Prince Edward. When it was announced that all men dance with the lady he didn't bring along, Robert and Giselle got the chance to dance for the last time, while Prince Edward asked Nancy to dance. It was evident at this point that both of them were longing for one another, but can't be with each other due to conflicts.
Robert and Giselle Dance Photo Credits: AJ Feuerman via ajfeuerman.com
Towards the end of the song, Nancy approached the two and asked to dance with her boyfriend again. When Giselle and Prince Edward was about to depart the ball, they stopped by the balcony and Giselle was left for a while in there, painfully watching as Nancy kissed Robert.
Then the evil queen, disguised again as the scary old woman, appeared beside her, scaring her for a while. The queen was able to convince her to take a bite at the last apple with poison to forget all that had happened to her in the real world, including the pain of not being with the one she truly loves. However, as she took one bite, she instantly fell unconscious on the floor.
True Love's Kiss: The Most Powerful Thing in the World
There was commotion as the disguised evil queen returned to her original form. She was about to take Giselle with her on the elevator, but luckily, Prince Edward was able to stop her. There was shock between the queen and the prince. The evil queen tried to cover her evil deed, telling the prince that the poor maiden only passed out and needed fresh air and water. Everyone was already in panic.
Then there came the loyal henchman, prepared to spill everything he knows as he came to his senses that the evil queen will never like him back. All this time, the henchman was loyal because he has affections for the evil queen. He told everyone, including the prince and Robert that it was the evil queen who sent Giselle to New York to stop the wedding. She also intended to poison the poor maiden.
Prince Edward was desperately thinking for answer to how he could rescue his bride. Robert was also in the same state, until he remembered Giselle's statement. True love's kiss is the most powerful thing in the world. And so the prince agreed and kissed Giselle. He tried kissing her couple of times but to no avail. The poor maiden was still lying lifeless.
"What kind of movies do you like?"
The evil queen laughed and declared Giselle would be dead by the time the clock strikes twelve. Then Robert realized he might be the one but was all worried about Nancy. The poor girlfriend conceded and gave her permission, even pushing him to give Giselle the true love's kiss she needs to survive the curse.
Robert gave Giselle a sincere kiss in the lips, and then the clock struck twelve. Giselle was still lifeless. Everyone was so down thinking that all was fail. The evil queen let an evil laugh out. But shortly after, Giselle breathed out and opened her eyes, exclaiming she knew Robert was really the one. And the two kissed.
The Final Stretch: The Evil Queen Turned Monster
Of course, the evil queen, being the prime antagonist, did not just accept the happy ending and stopped there. As one final stretch, she used her magic and turned dragonlike monster. He held Robert captive to lure Giselle to follow her.
But our protagonist is a strong woman. She followed bravely aiming to rescue her true love. After a long brawl on top of the building, he was able to rescue Robert, as he was about to fall together. They giggled and kissed.
They All Lived Happily Ever After!
Nancy was left alone in the dark room of the ball. She was sad after all that had happened. She found a shoe and sat down on the floor. Prince Edward found her and asked why the sadness. They engaged in small talk, and the prince fixed the shoe on her declaring it was a perfect fit. Both of them smiled, and the next thing they were running out in the busy streets of New York into the manhole going to Andalasia. As they entered, they were turned animated in a wedding scene. Yes, Prince Edward and Nancy got married! Happy ever after for these two!
Going back to Giselle and Robert. They are already a couple, a happy family with Rachel. Giselle became a fashion designer to the line named Andalasia. They produce fairytale-like dresses, mostly for young kids.
Nathaniel became a famous writer in the real world, as he decided to stay. Pip, the chipmunk, on the other hand, went back to Andalasia and became a famous writer there. It seemed like he wrote a book about his adventure of Giselle's story.
And all of them lived happily ever after. Ever, ever after!
THE MOVIE HIGHLIGHTS
Enchanted was a global box office success. This also launched Amy Adams' career as a certified female lead. She had several huge roles that came after she starred in this movie. Let's take a look at some of the highlights from the movie.
(A) Animation and Live-Action: A Parody to Typical Fairytales
The movie starts out animated, very much alike to typical Disney animated fairytales. There were evil queen, a prince, and a peasant maiden with animal friends. The maiden also sings her monologue beautifully.
Enchanted was intended to parody Disney fairytales. What made it more evident in the movie were the scenes involving Giselle and other personalities from the kingdom of Andalasia. Remember when Giselle sang the happy working song and had Robert's place cleaned together with her newfound friends that are free-flying birds, flies from dumpsters, cockroaches from bathroom sink, and rats from city drainage?
(B) The Comedy
Aside from the fact that Enchanted was meant to be a parody, the screenplay was whole lotta comedy in general. Take Prince Edward's character as an example. Have you noticed how he was made to be less attractive and likable in terms of his personality as compared to most princes depicted in most Disney fairytales? He's narcissistic, full of himself, and a bit airheaded.
Prince Edward, by far, is my favorite character in the movie. He is probably the most comical part of the movie. Although Giselle is comical too, something about her is far more lovely than comical. Whereas, with Prince Edward, everything is just comedy. If you don't agree, just rewind to that part where he first landed on New York City, when he climbed up cars and one particular bus. Or how about in the park, when he heard Giselle singing from afar? He dove in from the bridge, over onto an incoming group of men riding bicycle, about to sing his part in true love's kiss. Gold! No matter how many times I put it on replay, it still never fails to make me laugh. By far my favorite scene in the movie!
(C) The Soundtracks
Remember that scene in the park when Giselle started to sing “That’s How You Know”? This is probably the most Disney part of the movie. First of all, the song, though simple as it is, sends a really strong message to everyone who loves and is loved. How do we really know if we love someone, or if the ones we love know that we love them?
Enchanted - That's How You Know (Lyrics) 1080pHD Video Credits: Lise LS_Disney via YouTube
People nowadays tend to forget or shy away from telling the ones we love that we love them. We find it awkward, or too cheesy, to do so, even though that's how we really feel. This song, and this part of the film, encourages everyone to be vocal of our feelings, to not let our loved ones doubt our feelings for them. Sometimes it's one thing we miss out that really creates a huge gap between us. As what the song deliberately tells us, do not take the ones we love for granted, or they'll be inclined to question our love for them.
"True Love's Kiss" is one. In a world now where even young ones are becoming more and more sexual, to take this song's depth into consideration is a breath of fresh air. I was listening to the song's clip in YouTube, and one particular commenter pointed out about "...for lips are the only things that touch," then went on to questioning, are we sure about that?
Another one is John McLaughlin's So close, which was the saddest part of the movie. The scene was just silent, no dialogues and all, just Robert and Giselle dancing to its tune. But the song's lyrics seemingly narrated all the underlying feelings they have for each other. They were so close to each other but seemed so far because they couldn't be together. Plus the beautiful melody of the song, melancholic and melodramatic, added to the mood of the scene.
THE VERDICT: MY MOVIE RATING
Five stars out of five. No more beating around the bush. Everything about the movie was just perfect.
The screenplay and storyline were so good that there were no boring points. The concept of having animated portion and live-action were just exquisite and well thought of. The soundtracks were lovely, as well as the choreography.
Robert, Morgand and Giselle Photo Credits: Greeneiris via FanPop
Enchanted is a flick that is comical, of pure comedy. The fact that it was intended to be a parody of most concepts surrounding existing disney stories was hilarious, with characters built around to exaggerate on perfectness of Disney fairytales' protagonists.
Disclaimer: All pictures above are not my own, and are shared for free as per license, and with proper attribution.
You might notice long descriptions. It is made according to attribution required by the license of the copyright owner.
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