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Princess Kaiulani

Submitted by admin on August 11, 2010 – 3:51 pmNo Comment
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Princess Kaiulani has precious little to offer save a sense of historical accuracy and impeccable shots of sunsets. The story of political conflict in 19th-century Hawaii certainly deserves a bit of beauty and truth.

Star Q’Orianka Kilcher, who played Pocahantas in The New World, makes a convincing Princess Ka’iulani, but one wonders when she’ll be playing roles based on her acting talent and less on her facial bone structure that suggests ethnic royalty. Other actors in the film like Will Patton or Barry Pepper look not so much bored as starched. Although it’s the direction that absolutely slays Princess Kaiulani. The pacing feels like moving through a costumed local theater production, sometimes faltering and always unsteady. When the going gets heavy and it looks like PK is about to burst into battle action the director cuts to isolated slow motion and individual shots that offer no continuity and even less backbone.

PK moves episodically through Ka’iulani’s life showing through her eyes how the cultural beauty and integrity of the island country was perverted by American business interests. PK might have worked better as a cable series or some longer format that would’ve allowed for a more complete portrait of the Hawaiian royal kingdom and the events that forever changed the island nation.

- Michael Bergeron

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