FFF 2019 – Review: PRINCESS OF THE ROW Is A Bland But Well-Meaning Fable

FIRST IMPRESSION

Princess of the Row definitely has good intentions, but is too generic and blandly executed to make the social impact it hopes to have.
Writing
Directing
Acting
Technical Merit

Princess of the Row is a new drama film co-written and directed by Max Carlson. The movie follows a runaway foster child as she attempts to fight to stay with her father, a mentally-ill and disabled veteran who is living homeless on Los Angeles’s skid row. It has played at festivals including the 2019 Florida Film Festival.

Although the core story of the film is interesting, it feels too similar to other (better) movies that have come before, such as Leave No Trace. This film copies those same story beats to the note, ultimately feeling unoriginal and derivative. The message that the movie has to say about the country’s treatment of veterans is definitely important, but again, this has been done more effective in other films before.

The reason that this movie is bearable is that the characters are relatively sympathetic. The protagonist is a bit annoying at times because of the bad and selfish decisions she seems to constantly be making, although she still always gets immediate sympathy because of the situation in which she is placed. It is her father, though, that is the most compelling part of the film, as he adds the truly harrowing parts of the story.

In terms of emotion, the movie frequently feels over-the-top and manipulative. There are a handful of moments, particularly towards the middle of the film, that draw you out because of how excessive and contrived they feel. There is one scene in particular that is frustratingly out-of-place, and it will be evident which this is if you see the movie. That being said, the ending is effective and does pull at the heartstrings.

princess of the row fantasy

The pacing of the film is inconsistent at best. After getting off to a strong start, the movie ultimately feels like it is doing the same thing over and over again. Although the nature of the conflict does change, it still has the same effect on the characters as what came before, ultimately resulting in the film as a whole feeling rather redundant. The middle portion of the movie drags significantly, so when the ending finally comes, you breathe a sigh of relief.

The acting in the film is undeniably the best part. Child actress Tayler Buck gives a very strong performance, especially for an actress as young as she is. She does a phenomenal job of selling the emotion of the movie. Supporting actor Edi Gathegi does a solid job too, although his performance does begin to feel somewhat over-the-top at times. Martin Sheen gives a small but impactful supporting turn as well.

On a technical level, the film accomplishes what it sets out to do, but that doesn’t exactly fit what the movie should be doing. The film means to be a fairytale in which the protagonist is a princess. However, the movie doesn’t seem to embrace this fully, having a few fantastic shots that have that surreal and glowing quality, instead mostly feeling dark and gloomy. Had the film went consistently one way or the other, it would have been much better.

Overall, Princess of the Row was a very disappointing movie. Although the story does show some potential, the script is so generic and the execution so inconsistent that it is ultimately too messy to make an impact.

Princess of the Row played at the 2019 Florida Film Festival.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

The Third Day: Series Premiere (Full Episode) | HBO

There are things here you cannot escape. #HBO #ThirdDayHBO #JudeLaw #NaomieHarris #KatherineWaterston #EmilyWatson #PaddyConsidine Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 Created by Dennis Kelly and Felix Barrett, The Third Day is told over the first three episodes. “Summer” follows Sam, a man drawn to a mysterious Island off the British coast, who encounters a group…

Pen15 Season 2: Making Of (Featurette) • A Hulu Original

Go behind the scenes of Pen15 with co-creators, Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle, as they dive into the making of the Emmy nominated comedy. Season 2 is now streaming, only on Hulu. ABOUT PEN15 Pen15 is an R-rated “traumedy” set in middle school as it really happened in the year 2000. Anna Konkle and Maya…

Baseball Game | Madagascar A Little Wild • A Hulu Original

The crew heads to the New York Green Giraffes Stadium for “Best Fans Day”, but amid all of the excitement, Alex ends up hurting Marty’s feelings. Will these “Best Fans Forever” make up? Watch along in the all new series, Madagascar A Little Wild, now streaming on Hulu! ABOUT MADAGASCAR: A LITTLE WILD Join your…

Batman’s Most Iconic Batmobiles | HBO Max

When you have money like Batman, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t have one of the coolest cars around. Take a look at the evolution of the Batmobile through the years. Subscribe: http://bit.ly/HBOMaxYouTube Be the first to know more: HBO Max: https://hbom.ax/YT Like HBO Max on Facebook: http://bit.ly/HBOMaxFacebook Follow HBO Max on Twitter: http://bit.ly/HBOMaxTwitter Follow…

Coroner | Season 1 Episode 8 | Bridges Promo | The CW

Stream new episodes of Coroner Thursdays free only on The CW: https://go.cwtv.com/CORgenyt SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/YTSubscribe About The CW: Official YouTube Channel for The CW Network featuring the hit series Riverdale, as well as Black Lightning, The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Supernatural, The 100, Dynasty, In the Dark, and Roswell, New Mexico. Connect with…

Lovecraft Country: Season 1 Episode 6 Promo | HBO

On the next. #LovecraftCountry #HBO Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 Official Site of Lovecraft Country on HBO: https://itsh.bo/lovecraft-country-series Stream on HBO Max: http://itsh.bo/hbo-max Get More HBO Official Site: https://itsh.bo/dotcom Twitter: https://twitter.com/hbo Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hbo Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hbo Lovecraft Country: Season 1 Episode 6 Promo | HBO

Fargo | Installment 4: Twice Teaser | FX

Sundays aren’t for rest. Fargo is back with an all-new story September 27th on FX. Next day FX on Hulu. Subscribe now for more Fargo clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX The fourth installment of Fargo is set in 1950 Kansas City, where two crime syndicates fighting for a piece of the American dream have struck an uneasy peace.…
Avatar
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here