The King’s Daughter Slippery Slope to Streaming

11 Feb

The King's Daughter (2022) - IMDbNow Available on Streaming Services & Still Playing Theatrically

The King’s Daughter is a soft fantasy with a lot of family drama concerning a young aristocratic woman from Versailles who wishes to be free. Marie-Josèphe (Kaya Scodelario) spent enough time in a convent, and that’s not her life. Her father, King Louis XIV (Pierce Brosnan), brings her home in a vein attempt to raise her instead of hunting for a mermaid (Fan Bingbing). It’s said eating the heart from this fantastic creature grants immortality, but I suspect it can also curse him, too. He won’t be the same. He never has since the death of his wife.

Marie was sent away before she even knew who her parents were and she discovers about her dad has her furious.

This young lady forms a bond with the said mermaid after it’s captured, and it only makes her want to leave even more. It’s a different type of story when compared to previous tales concerning these creatures from the sea. I couldn’t help but think of Rumiko Takahashi’s The Mermaid’s Saga; had this manga series been more influential than Vonda N. McIntyre’s The Moon and the Sun, I’d feel more invested. There’s no tension or dread.

Instead, this film is simply a coming of age story with very little bite. It tries to insert some fairy tale bits concerning an attempt to marry Marie off to Jean-Michel Lintillac, son of a wealthy baron. She agrees, if only her father frees the mermaid. This point helps drive the film to a finale, but that isn’t enough.

There’s no sense of urgency in why Louis wants this immortality. He’s not dying. He’s definitely hiding, since he fears another assassin’s bullet will put him six feet under for good. Any references to the wars he was advocating for or how his people saw him gets sidelined here. Here, he’s not even considered evil.

All he wants to do is live, and perhaps the best way to do that is to allow his daughter to become that woman she’s compassionately grown up to be.

3 Stars out of 5

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