The Princess: review of the film with Joey King

Joey King, Dominic Cooper and Olga Kurylenko have fun changing the rules of the genre with The Princess, on Disney + Star from July 1, 2022.

The Princess is available on Disney + Star starting from1 July 2022. Directed by the Vietnamese Le-Van Kiet and has as protagonists Joey King, Dominic Cooper, Veronica Ngo And Olga Kurylenko. Le-Van Kiet is the director of Furies, Vietnamese martial arts film of 2019 nominated (but not nominated) for an Oscar for Best International Film, the biggest box office success in the country’s history. If that’s not enough, it should be remembered that behind The Princess the production team of Fast and Furious And John Wick. It was essential to begin by providing some type of information to make it clear that if intentions are still worth something, this is not, it is not meant to be, the usual fairy tale. Or not?

The Princess: the story of a young woman who does not allow others to tell her how to live

The Princess
(LR): Veronica Ngo and Joey King in 20th Century Studios’ THE PRINCESS, exclusively on Hulu. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Sleeping Beauty Joey King wakes up, in the most inaccessible room at the top of the farthest tower of his father’s castle, from a long and strange sleep. She needs some time to refocus things and remember exactly who she is, what she is doing there, why. The Princess he plays with a whole series of clichés, scrupulously pays homage to conventions and atmosphere, just to overturn them as soon as he gets the chance. The possibility comes soon. Because if it is true that there is a castle, a princess and even a beautiful promise of marriage, it is equally true that the combination of these narrative keys and the protagonist’s way of being in the world openly challenges the standard of (and of) genre. . Modern fairy tale, complete with female empowerment and an action imprint.

No spoilers, that’s what you need to know. Dominic Cooper he is the evil aristocrat who wants to marry the princess. Man of little imagination, he has prosaic aims, love has nothing to do with it, he just wants to take over the kingdom of which the girl would theoretically be the heir. He gets help from the very dangerous one Olga Kurylenko and by an army of mercenaries who sets out to guard the room in which he has imprisoned Joey King, after the latter refused his questionable marriage proposals. Even in fairy tales or allegedly such, there are bad men who struggle to accept that no means no. What the villain ignores, but that the viewer is able to grasp with a certain speed, is that this princess is of a new kind. A series of strategic flashbacks breaks the fast pace of the action to make us understand how and why the young woman is different from the others.

What she likes to do is viewed in the family with a certain suspicion, because they are choices that do not conform to the model of the pleasantly submissive aristocrat. Everyone is made to live in freedom: The Princess it links a general discourse, the right of every woman to choose on her own, to a closer look at the tastes and inclinations of the protagonist. She knows how to do things that are traditionally reserved for the male audience only. Her warrior talent is a nice mix: the teachings of a good teacher, Veronica Ngo, at the bottom of a congenital predisposition. He will put his talent at the service of the cause. There is an army to defeat, a castle to free, a villain to liquidate. To rejoin the family and live his life as he prefers.

The Princess: action, a story in real time and in total harmony with the public’s taste

The Princess
Dominic Cooper in 20th Century Studios’ THE PRINCESS, exclusively on Hulu. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Le-Van Kiet attacks the fairytale canon by immersing The Princess in a bath of action vibrations that leave no respite to the viewer; forces the protagonist Joey King, which for its part puts an instinctive enthusiasm and an almost coregoraphic sense for this kind of enterprise, to work overtime from a physical point of view and to test itself sensationally. Exam passed. To save the film from the risk of repetition and static, there is an interesting work on timing. Few feminist fairy tales, action fairy tales, even fewer. Action, feminist and real-time fairy tales, practically none.

There is a strong sense of immediacy, everything happens in the space of a few hours, the inexorable sense of a progression (of facts, of feelings) almost like a video game that gives the film freshness, especially in the first half hour, if there was no trouble. Good alchemy between the young pupil and the teacher Veronica Ngo. Slightly sacrificed Olga Kurylenko which replies, overturning them, certain premises that the film reserves for the protagonist. Dominic Cooper serves the purpose and draws his own version of the evil, abusive man. Atonement, as understood by an entertainment industry that after having tolerated abominable spectacles for centuries, turning away, now realizes not only that there are wrong men, but also that one can survive by shaming them and putting oneself on the right side. This is the strength and limit of the operation. The Princess he takes care to protect the independence of his protagonist, assigns her skills that were once precluded, creates a tailor-made story with a nice rhythm and an interesting relationship with time. Not only.

While intervening on the reference model of femininity and opening it to unprecedented possibilities, she does not fall into the Sarah Connor syndrome, she does not try to counter the stereotype with the stereotype, the “virile”, masculinized woman. What works for Terminator applies to Terminator, period. Many movies have struggled to understand this, The Princess does not fall into this trap. The problem is the “transparency” of the model. The film, much more than an action and entertainment product, is worth as X-ray of the system’s attempts to react to the shocks of recent years by devising the great new formula. In its desire to be perfectly and sensationally in tune with the audience’s appetite, the film finds more than one point of contact with previous versions of the story. He writes down a convention to build a new one, at the same time the same and radically different. The film is enjoyable and more conservative than it looks.

Direction – 2.5

Screenplay – 2

Photography – 2.5

Acting – 3

Sound – 2.5

Emotion – 2.5

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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