The King’s Daughter review by Drusilla Blakey
Known as The Sun King, Louis XIV (Pierce Brosnan) is the most powerful and influential monarch on the planet. Obsessed with his own mortality and the future of France, Louis turns to his spiritual advisor, Père La Chaise (William Hurt), and the royal physician to help him obtain the key to immortality. Believing a mermaid (Fan Bingbing) contains a force that grants everlasting life, Louis commissions a young sea captain to search the seas and capture the mystical creature.
When I first saw the trailer for The King's Daughter I was a bit taken aback and confused. Normally, I would be super excited to see anything with Pierce Brosnan, but I was so shocked by the seemingly low quality look and feel of the movie that I immediately said to myself "I'm not watching that!" But being a reviewer does mean watching everything that comes your way, so when I received a copy of the film, I sat down to watch and hoped for the best.
The film follows several developing relationships that focus on love, family, and the search for happiness. The unfortunate thing is that the title relationship between Brosnan and his estranged daughter (Kaya Scodelario) never really picked up and they never seem to emotionally connect. The number of scenes they share seems limited and with little interaction and feeling. So at the end when you're hoping for a grand payoff, there really isn't one. The other relationships between the daughter and her love interest and even her relationship with her handmaid have more feeling - which doesn't bode well if the whole point is to focus on "The King and his daughter."
The mermaid character had a little bit of a 'cheap' feel to it and some of the
underwater scenes seem very unbelievable. Not sure if this was due to budgetary issues, but I was hoping for a little bit more magic from this character. Luckily, to me the saving grace and the best thing about this movie is the music and costumes.
There is a lot of orchestral, baroque style music that I personally found very charming. Additionally, due to the time period the story takes place in, the dresses and costumes were amazing. Kudos to the costuming department on this film; because although the story and acting were not top notch, the look of the movie was on point.
Overall, this movie is average at best. I believe younger audiences may find it more engaging (it's rated PG) as you have a magical mermaid, a cute love interest, a 'surprise you're a princess' moment, girls becoming best friends, etc. If you're a fan of Brosnan or Scodelario, you should give it a try and support your favorite actors.
The King's Daughter is available now on Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital.