Encanto Review – We don’t talk about Bru- toxic family culture
Disney recently released their latest animated feature Encanto and for this Encanto review let me just say that this was a film that’s special and should be watched by the entire family like in one sitting. The film is directed by Jared Bush and Byron Howard featuring the music of Lin Manuel Miranda.
The film revolves around the Mirabel Madrigal and her family living in an enchanted place. Mirabel is the only one in her family that doesn’t have a gift and she’s trying hard to fit in. Things go south for the family when Mirabel gets a vision of their magical home and their gifts gets destroyed and she was looking for a way to save her family and her way of living.
Its about time Disney did a movie where there’s no true villain and instead focusing on internal conflict between a family. And Encanto does it sooooo good.
Just like Raya and the Last Dragon, Encanto also takes a lot of elements from South American culture and lore and makes it a character in itself. And because one of the characters is the “casita” or the house itself it makes things livelier and a lot more colorful.
I’m sure there will be a lot of people who can relate to the various members of the Madrigal household whether its Mirabel who just couldn’t fit in but continually tries to do so to Bruno who we are not supposed to talk about…
…but we have to because he’s the black sheep and the one tio who “left” it all behind to Abuela who pretty much dominates all aspect of the Madrigal’s lives.
Or you could be a strong Luisa who is riddled with self-doubt and also has the film’s best damn song.
That’s my point, there’s a bit of all of us in Encanto and it makes the film sooooo relatable.
Another thing that’s not usually pointed out in other reviews is the concept of embracing. Embracing here in both figurative and literal moved the story forward. Bruno’s vision showed Mirabel a way to save Casita and that would be through an embrace with her oh-so-perfect sister Isabelle. The two aren’t exactly fond of each other but after a nice musical number, they make up and their embrace opens the door for Isa to actually drop what’s weighing her down and become a better person.
The Madrigal’s embrace of Mirabel’s ordinary status proves to be the catalyst for their magic to return in the end. It’s also the embrace of the family of the prodigal Bruno that makes them stronger than ever before.
Mirable embracing Abuela Alma’s vision achieving harmony was also the key to getting everything they lost back.
The music is festive and fun and you can’t help but humm or get totally engrossed thanks to the stellar voice cast and the songs they bring to life. Lin Manuel Miranda may have floundered a bit in his recent stuff but he’s definitely in fighting form with the songs he put in here.
Encanto is a masterpiece and its a movie that shows us the ugly side of being in a family and having to live with all the negative stuff that comes along with having a family. Its showing us the truth and making us all decide whether we want to continue living like this or finding common ground for active dialogue and negotiations.Its an eye-opener and something that will make you think. Ofcourse, like all Disney properties, it has to end in a positive note but alas, we know how real life works. But hey, its definitely a fantasy film for people who have experienced this sort of problem in the past.
Also good writing because they never truly painted Abuela as the most toxic part of the family and she kind of redeems herself in the end which is always good when dealing with movies and stories.
To be honest the movie has a standard plot but directors Jared Bush and Byron Howard brought in new elements and something fresh in what could have been a snooze fest. Also, the film was a cathartic experience even for me, borderline triggering actually. I ugly cried here. Much worse than in the final moments of Coco.
Encanto Review Verdict – 10/10
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