Although I will not consider the aspect of love in this movie, I do want to look at how death is handled. There are many places where death nearly happens. Let’s take a look.
Princess Buttercup (Robin Wright) faces death when she jumps into the sea of shrieking eels. However, her captors rescue her.
The first time the audience sees Westley (Cary Elwes) face potential death is when he fights Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin). They are both “amazing” sword fighters. They have a mutual respect for each other; therefore, Westley does not kill him.
Vizzini (Wallace Shawn) instructs Fezzik (Andre the Giant) to “finish him!” He is supposed to hit Westley with a rock. However, Fezzik wants to “face each other...sportsmanlike”. Westley faces death a second time, expecting to meet it straight on. However, Westley prevails again by cutting off his opponent’s airway.
Buttercup claimed she “died that day” when Westley was said to be dead. Westley says, “Death cannot stop true love.” These two define their love around death. Romantic?
The couple also faces death in the Fire Swamp. Buttercup falls into the Lightning Sand where they almost suffocate after Westley dives in after her. Then Rodents of Unusual Size (RUS) attack them. Death is begging for this couple.
After Westley is taken to the Pit of Despair, Count Rugen (Christopher Guest) slowly sucks the life out of him. However, Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon) turns up the limit until “ultimate suffering” is experienced by Westley. He dies (almost). When his comrades (Inigo and Fezzik) find him, he appears to be dead.
They take him to Miracle Max (Billy Crystal). Even though Westley is already dead, he agrees to “take a look”. The miracle worker says he is “mostly dead”; he can still talk. He agrees to help and saves Westley.
Although the Prince thinks he is willing to fight to the death, he does not. Westley, again, wins. The team rides away into the night, together.
“True love” is attributed to constantly saving the couple. However, “the bonds of love” seem to be what is pulling them down. They love each other so dearly that they put each other in dangerous situations. Also, facing challenges grants life instead of death. Love and courage will bring you life.
Comparing books to movies is always a good time for those who love books.
For those who love Princess Buttercup (I personally think the name is cheap), an Ode was written to her in the Huffington Post.
Thanks for reading! Happy Valentine’s Day!