Set against the beautiful backdrop of Colombia, Enchantment follows the magical story of the Madrigal family whose members miraculously receive magical gifts which they use to serve the people of their community called “Encanto”.
cast of the charming movie
- Stephanie Beatriz as Mirabel
- Maria Cecilia Botero as Grandma Alma
- John Leguizamo as Bruno
- Mauro Castillo as Felix
charm movie review
nothing beats a good animated disney movie when it comes to combining great music and comedy with beautiful visual respite for the eyes. If anything adds to the magic of a beautiful Disney animated film, it’s the fusion of various cultural nuances in its storytelling. Speaking of magic, for its 60th animated feature film, Disney sets foot in the homeland of Gabriel García Márquez, who deserves his share of the credit for popularizing magical realism.
The family story begins when Alma Madrigal (Maria Cecilia Botero) and Pedro, pursued by soldiers on horseback, try to escape with their three children. Soon, Alma loses her husband. still pursued by her pursuers, her candlelight takes on miraculous magical qualities. the light gets rid of the bad guys and then a living magical house, la casita, emerges, along with a magical town surrounded by tall green mountains. the light of the candle becomes the protector of the madrigal family and of the townspeople who admire the family.
Through the years, the magic candle also generously presents each member of the madrigals with a unique magical gift. from super strength to the ability to see future visions, you name it and madrigals have it. even if they don’t have any abilities right now, they may soon get them as the family continues to expand. but not everyone is gifted with madrigal magic. Alma’s granddaughter, Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz), is the only one who never receives a gift from the magic candle. Mirabel, mysteriously untalented and an odd member of the family, continues to struggle to fit in.
Soon, he discovers that the magic is fading and his house is breaking. Mirabel sets out to find the mystery behind the fading magic, save the magical family from it, and in turn save the townspeople who depend on them.
‘encanto’ beautifully showcases the film’s Colombian setting with vibrant, bright and colorful images that bring Latin American flora and fauna to life on screen. the film also pays homage to the country’s historical heritage. Although ‘Enchantment’ doesn’t delve too deeply into the culture of the country in which it takes place as ‘Coco (2017)’ did, the film does enough to highlight the magical characteristics of the country in a magical way.
the picturesque natural backdrop of mountains with abundant vegetation and few endemic faunas, the depiction of a close-knit family headed by a matriarch, and the importance of traditions and family values at the core are all small points of control. for the film on its way to painting an authentic portrait of Latin American culture.
charm is a visual spectacle
Set in a small town, the film’s magical setting provides ample opportunity for Disney Studios animators to make their way to grand and fantastical images throughout the film. Rich images mixed with a rich culture are the best treat for the eyes and ‘charm’ proves it quite well.
lin manuel miranda’s music adds to the visual experience. each song feels quite different from the other and is quirky, refreshing and belongs to the type one might want to shake their heads at. almost every member of the madrigal has a song to sing and that adds some variety to the music and at the same time becomes a tool for better characterization. the music is good but not the best coming from a disney production.
Beyond the technical brilliance the film achieves, what the film really puts its money on is its emphasis on the importance of family relationships and the reconciliation of individuality with the interests of the larger family. . At its core, ‘Charm’ is the story of a family coming together and standing strong in the face of great danger.
mirabel, the stranger, becomes the unifying force of this family, familiar with magic, to realize that true magic lies in the love they feel for each other. the story is emotional and something a lot of people could relate to. mirabel is the quintessential protagonist who struggles to find a place with the people around her (in this case, with her family) and she often feels excluded.
in the end, ‘enchantment’ is not just the story of mirabel trying to find her own magic (it’s a surprise, or maybe not) but the story of a magical family, living in a magical house, realizing that the true source of magic lies within them. At Mirabel, many millennials living in large families could find their reflection.
although the story is about mirabel, the most relatable character, the story is more about the madrigals as a family. alma madrigal, who went through her share of suffering to bring the family to where he is today, provides a mirror for many who have had similar experiences. his great soul love for his family is also based on his fear of losing what he loves most.
‘charm’ tries to portray a family that was uprooted from where they originally belonged and when they began to believe that everything would be alright forever, their greatest fear found new ground. In ‘Enchantment,’ the story of many families who have migrated to new and unknown places, hoping to start anew, is animatedly brought to life with the vibrant visuals and melodious music of a Disney animated film.
Accolades aside, ‘charm’ really lags behind in the story department. In its entirety, Disney’s latest animated production has very little to offer in terms of story. it feels more like a single line stretched out to make a movie. the story is a bit too simple with nothing interesting or new in it. even though there is a hook for the viewer to latch onto, until things are finally revealed, the payoff, in the end, is less than satisfying. for ‘charm’, rather than the story, how it unfolds becomes the selling point.
the synopsis of film culture
Great voice acting, stunning visual effects, catchy music, and detailed art make “charm” fun and entertaining to watch. if supported by a better story, the cultural setting and its nuances with the emphasis on family relationships and values might have given the film a chance to be closer to the wonder that became ‘coco (2017)’.
However, if there is any reason one could find that is good enough not to watch an animated Disney creation, there is none to be found here. ‘Charm’ is what Disney does best: great visuals, great music, and lots of fun.