Being a royal seems like a fascinating way to navigate life. Seriously, you have servants selecting your daily attire, getting you dressed, styling your hair, bathing you and in some instances being a companion of sorts. How could anyone ever imagine drama coming with that sort of existence? Trust…it can happen. Especially, when you are a royal who would rather fight than take her place in a loveless marriage just for the sake of appearances.
When a strong-willed princess (Joey King) refuses to wed Julius (Dominic Cooper), a sociopath for the centuries, she is kidnapped and locked in a remote tower. Vindictive and scorned, Julius is more determined than ever on taking over her father’s throne, leaving the princess no choice but to do what’s necessary…protect her family and save the kingdom by any means necessary.
Let’s just say, we’ve seen this narrative in animated films ad nauseam via Jasmine (Aladdin), Mulan, Pocohontas, Merida (Brave) and let’s not forget my girl Tiana (The Princess and the Frog). And, although the screenplay clocks in at a tight 90 minutes, the action adventure flick is very light on plot and dogmatically heavy with well choreographed action sequences all taking place in a 24 hour period of time. Sounds, exhausting doesn’t it? It kinda is.
However, what is not exhausting, is the star power exuded by Joey King and her onscreen mentor Linh (Veronica Ngo). Those dolls swing a sword and execute stunts with the best of them and it goes without saying how empowering it is to see women taking the reigns and not giving into the conformity of what is considered the norm in these circumstances. The Princess reiterates the adage of always standing up for what you believe in order to fulfill the life you want instead of a pre-ordained existence with rules and expectations not aligning with who one is authentically at their core. As visually stunning as this film is, along with amazing production design and costumes, The Princess will be more memorable for it female empowerment theme and the performances of it leading ladies than it’s content and character.
Check it out for yourself as it is streaming on HULU via 20th Century Studios right now.