Princess Kaiulani

Princess Kaiulani Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 17 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: This gorgeous, sweeping historical epic tells the story of the final days of Hawaiian independence and how one young princess stood up to the impending takeover of her nation. (Roadside Attractions)


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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 17
  2. Negative: 2 out of 17
  1. A stirring romantic drama centering on the last royal heir to the native line of traditional monarchs.
  2. 60
    Designed to be both essential history lesson and costume weeper, Princess Kaiulani comes up short on both fronts: Deadly earnest intentions and lack of dramatic gumption ensure that the story of Hawaii’s favored daughter remains under-told.
  3. Kilcher is lovely. But sadly, Ka'iulani is a perfunctory biopic of the sort one might encounter on television during Women's History Month.
  4. The film is too reverently drawn and self-consciously played to muster any real momentum.
  5. As the doomed princess, Q’orianka Kilcher, who costarred as Pocahontas in Terence Malick’s “The New World,” has imperially striking features but limited acting skills. If her performances should ever rise to the level of her looks, she’ll be great.
  6. Kilcher makes the slog worthwhile--her face gleams with possibility, even in the character’s darkest moments--though one prays she escapes the typecasting trap ASAP.
  7. 25
    The landscapes are exotic and Kilcher is erotic, but the film plays like a generic made-for-TV biopic.

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