“The Princess”: girls to take up arms | Directed by Vietnamese Le-Van Kiet, on Star+

The Princess 5 points

princessUnited States, 2022

Address: Le Van Kiet

Screenplay: Ben Lustig and Jake Thorton

Duration: 94 minutes

Interpreters: Joey King, Cominic Cooper, Olga Kurylenko, Ed Stoppard, Veronica Ngo, Alex Reid, Krsitofer Kamiyasu, Katelyn Rose Downey.

Premiere: on the Star+ platform.

Princesses were the ones from before. Solicitous, quiet, submissive, willing to fulfill the wishes of others, leaving their own for a continuous future. Well not yet. Call it what you want: feminism, modern times or patriarchy in crisis. The thing is that women decided to stop relegating to tomorrow the equal rights that can be achieved today. One of the consequences is that a whole tradition in which they are always shown in the background (behind every great man there is a great woman and blah, blah, blah…) began to become obsolete, leaving the new generations orphans of stories with whom to identify. And since the King is dead, long live the Queen, it became necessary to fill that void with a content according to the winds of change. The cinema, which is never oblivious to reality, decided to contribute its narrative power to the cause (although not disinterestedly). The princessdirected by Vietnamese Le-Van Kietis a good example of how the audiovisual industry dialogues with the historical context, although the result is not the best in cinematographic matters.

The movement that the film proposes is simple: take a scenario that represents the most conservative logic and place a strong female character there to subvert it. Y, in matters of distribution of roles according to sex, there is nothing more conservative than fairy tales. That is the universe in which this nameless princess finds herself trapped, a decision that is not at all innocent. Because by calling her only Princess, she deposits on her identity all the symbolic load with which that archetype of the feminine has been fed for millennia. And what better way to attack the conservative gene than to resignify its most powerful symbols? That’s why, this Princess does not respond to the classic Disney modelbut it takes several steps further the turn that the house of the mouse timidly began to outline in some of its latest films.

The argument is even simpler. The Princess is forced by the King to marry an ambitious young nobleman, but she refuses. Humiliated, the young man reveals that he is not so noble, kidnaps her and locks her up in a tower, imprisons her parents and takes over the kingdom with blood and fire. What bruce lee in the game of death (1978), but conversely, the Princess must flee facing increasingly powerful enemies as she descends. Kung fu included.

With the narrative logic of a video game, The princess is an action film in the John Wick style, whose grace lies in the intention to impact with the fight choreographies and the accumulation of corpses that the protagonist leaves in her wake. The problem is that, far from that saga, everything here looks more conventional and, above all, it lacks the self-aware humor that distinguishes the three films starring Keanu Reeves. It is that lack of humor, or rather, the failure in his search, that makes The princess a failed experience.

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