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Friday, September 24, 2010

[5.25/10] Princess Ka'iulani (2009)


Princess Ka'iulani (2009)

Short review: "Princess Ka'iulani" is the true story of a Hawaiian princess' attempts to maintain the independence of the island against the threat of American colonization. The film entertains as well as informs, but it feels like a made-for-TV production, due to its average script, mediocre direction and other technical weaknesses. Although most of us are pretty unfamiliar with this story, it's actually strictly by-the-numbers, and sadly, it often doesn't really seem like a true story. Q'Orianka Kilcher's performance is tense and emotional, but her badly-behaved and spoiled princess character doesn't make her very likable, at least for most of time. Shaun Evans as princess' beloved, Clive, is pretty stiff and uninteresting to watch. The supporting cast does a good job overall, but with not any real standouts. The romantic subplot between the princess and Clive is contrived, unnatural and rather unnecessary. Visually, "Princess Ka'iulani" is a marvel! Hawaiian scenery is breathtakingly gorgeous and very fairy tale-like. The scenes from 19th century England are also beautiful to watch, as are the costumes. Overall, "Princess Ka'iulani" is magical at times and very dull at others. It offers decent story and some nice visuals, but nothing much else.

  • My Rating: 5.25/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 21% (4.6/10)
  • IMDb: 5.4/10

2 comments:

Alex said...

That's too bad to hear- from the trailer I was interested in this film since it sounded like a unique story and it's nice to see a period costume drama focusing on a non-white person. It came and went in theaters near me and I missed it, but I guess I didn't miss much! Plus I hate when there are forced romantic subplots.

Nebular said...

I was very interested in it as well, since the story is so unfamiliar to me. I didn't even know that Hawaii was a kingdom once. Shame on me! Visually, it was breathtakingly beautiful and the story is fairly good, but nothing special overall. Don't bother, you didn't miss much. It will be out soon on DVD, so you can check it out ;)

The romance was ho-hum. He hated her at first, then he found her inner beauty and he fell in love with her... blah blah blah... same old, same old.