The Princess: Forget the one in fairy tales... now she's breaking arms on Disney+!

The Princess: Forget the one in fairy tales… now she’s breaking arms on Disney+!

New to Disney+, the film The Princess with Joey King revisits in a muscular way the myth of the princess of fairy tales that Disney has largely contributed to making popular…

What is it about ?

When a pretty princess with a strong character refuses to marry the cruel sociopath to whom she is engaged, her father, mad with rage, has her kidnapped and locked up in an isolated tower of the castle. Faced with a vindictive and despised suitor who never ceases to seek to usurp the paternal throne, she will have to find radical solutions to not only protect her family and herself, but also save the whole kingdom…

The Princess, a film directed by Le-Van Kiet, written by Ben Lustig and Jake Thornton with Joey King, Dominic Cooper, Olga Kurylenko and Veronica Ngo.

The Disney Princess 2.0

It’s quite disconcerting at first sight to see the myth of the fairy tale princess, the one Disney has promoted for decades, turn into a real killing machine. Because it is indeed the pitch of The Princess, a film of pure action, worn by Joey King a thousand leagues from his role as a teenager in love in The Kissing Booth or as a child victim then executioner in The Act.

From the first minutes, the tone is set. The title princess is locked up at the top of the castle tower, her parents imprisoned and she is soon forced to marry a psychopathic (Dominic Cooper) and power-hungry prince.

This film came to me by surprise while I was in post-production on The Ancestral in Vietnam. I thought it was a joke when the Disney studio contacted me and they had the wrong director” says Le-Van Kiet, director of the film. But yet, it was neither a mistake nor a joke.

It immediately intrigued me to make a film that is not historically and totally realistic but above all an action film with a badass princess and full of surprises.” And indeed, the film stands out very clearly from any historical reference. But it takes up in its sets and costumes and even the archetype of the other main characters, the codes of Disney fairy tale films. With a good dose of brutality in addition.

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Joey King is The Princess

I love all the action movies from the 80s as well as a lot of martial arts movies that I grew up with. I love The Raid and Die Hard. It’s a bit the same dynamic here with a heroine and her obstacle course” continues the director. The dynamic of the film is very clear from the start: prisoner at the top of her tower, the Princess must reach the ground floor, knock out a few dozen opponents on the way, and face the final boss once arrived at the bottom.

A kind of guilty pleasure, completely assumed by its director. “That was really the goal of this film, to make it a moment of relaxation and total pleasure for the viewer without any ulterior motive of a feminist or other message. Although, of course, this film is set in an era where we see more and more strong female characters in cinema.”

Joey King is stunning in this role where we are more used to seeing templates like Michelle Rodriguez or Charlize Theron. It also surprises because we discover it in a fairly crude genre. She is seen driving swords into skulls and twisting kneecaps. All without blinking.

Without the philosophical and geopolitical dimension of Game of Thrones, we can guess the influence of the HBO series on the Disney film. The Princess is an encounter between Arya Stark and Brienne of Tarth. With a little more dialogue and a series that runs over several seasons, she would almost be able to follow in the footsteps of a certain Buffy…

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