Sunday, June 12, 2016

Inconceivable! A Salute to The Princess Bride

Editor's Note: Today's piece covers one of the greatest films of all time and comes to you from Michael Ware. You can follow him on Twitter @thecatholicgrad and on the interwebs at catholicgrad.blogspot.com.


Above: Joshua Budich and his depiction of the film in a nutshell. You better give him credit y'all, because this is awesome.

Ok, I will confess upfront that I am a total nerd about this film; I even have an illustrated 30th anniversary edition of the book. I promised my readers that I would slowly start to talk about pop culture (since this is an "umbrella term", I'll be trying to talk about favorite films, musicians and everything else). With this in mind, let’s delve into one of the best cult classics of all time. 

So, why should we watch a film like The Princess Bride? Simply put, this is a film dripping with theology; along with this, this could be a film the Vatican could put on its list of films, should they ever revise it. 

The National Catholic Register posted an article in 2014 about this very subject, and what is now coming to light is that my hero and the hero of many, St. John Paul the Great, was a fan of this film; that’s right, the Holy Father was a fan of The Princess Bride. It stemmed from a meeting that John Paul had with Cary Elwes prior to filming the Biopic Pope John Paul II (in which Cary would play the younger John Paul, the older by Jon Voight). 

Apart from memorizing most of the speeches in this film (including To The Pain, fans will get what I mean), I can see why John Paul loved this film so much; first, it truly shows man and woman in their God given vocations. Let’s focus on Princess Buttercup first (Robin Wright). Her character is one that is like most normal girls, except when she meets Wesley (Cary Elwes) she is charmed not just by his good looks (at least I like to think), but by the fact that he is a true gentleman. This is very much like our current culture, in which girls are longing for true masculinity and true femininity. Wesley's constant “As You Wish” is one that is very much echoed by Our Blessed Mother and by Christ himself. Along with this, Wesley seldom killed his enemies if ever (I’m not sure if any of the fans noticed that); he never killed Inigo (Mandy Patinkin) or Fezzik (Andre the Giant), and technically he didn't kill Vizzini (Wallace Shawn). Sex and chastity are also both held in very high regard. Marriage is of course part of the film, but it’s much more than the clergyman’s “bwessed awangement” (spoiler); We ourselves are married to God, whether we’re married to a spouse on earth or to the Church as a religious or consecrated. The Bible begins and ends with marriage, and it is a marriage between a man and a woman. 

Let’s focus on Wesley a little more; he was a guy who was a man of his word as well as a man who went and gave the maximum, even when it came to suffering. Lastly, the line which Wesley gives to Buttercup was one I put in a letter to two friends of mine who recently got married “Death cannot stop true love, all it can do is delay it awhile.” 

This film has an awesome story that is hilarious, warm and deep all at the same time; it has an all-star cast, and gets better every time you watch it. Above all, characters such as Wesley can be role models for men of our current and future generations (and actually Buttercup isn't that bad of a role model either). I strongly recommend this film and recommend you not only watch it, but keep it so you can enjoy it over and over again. Will this entry convince you? As Miracle Max said to his wife Valerie “It’ll take a miracle.” 

Have fun storming the castle, 
Michael 


For those interested in the original article written in The National Catholic Register, you can find it here: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/tom-hoopes/top-ten-reasons-it-makes-sense-that-john-paul-ii-loved-princess-bride

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