Reel Asian 2016: Our Review Of ‘The Last Princess’

Posted in Movies, Reel Asian 2016, Theatrical by - November 16, 2016
Reel Asian 2016: Our Review Of ‘The Last Princess’

There was a time when period pictures were all the rage.  Grand stories with ornate costumes and sets were the darlings of critics and audiences alike in North America and abroad.  In recent years sequels and superhero films have taken over both the box office and the cultural imagination which makes a good period picture both a bit of a rarity as well as welcome sight.

The Last Princess, directed by Jin-ho Hur, is the story of Deok-hye Yi, a Korean princess who after her country is taken over by the Japanese is sent to live in Japan.  There she is used by the forces in power to further their agenda against the monarchy and maintain control of the Korean people under their rule.  Meanwhile Deok-hye Yi is torn between assisting the Korean independence movement at great risk to herself and her family and achieving her sole desire – to return to her beloved homeland.

The film has all the hallmarks of a period piece including strong acting, beautiful costumes and sets and a sweeping storyline that covers several decades.  The excellent cast is led by the mesmerizing Ye-jin Son as Deok-hye Yi and the costumes and sets make it easy for the viewer to become absorbed in the milieu of historic eastern Asia.  It’s an absorbing and interesting story with a genuinely moving ending which taught me about a piece of history that I knew little to nothing about.  And ultimately it made me wish that there were more period pieces around to enjoy.

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Galadriel fell in love with the movies when she was taken to see Superman at the age of three. Legend has it she watched the whole thing standing up with her jaw on the floor. She went on to see Superman four more times in the theatre and developed a lifelong passion for film. Galadriel earned a Bachelor of Arts in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto which she parlayed into a ten year stint at Blockbuster Video and more recently a career in nursing. But some things never change – she still loves movies and counts Gone with the Wind, Amadeus, The Shawshank Redemption, La Dolce Vita and the films of Michelangelo Antonioni among her favourites. She is also obsessed with the Oscars and knows more about them than any one person should. Galadriel currently lives in Toronto with her husband and young daughter who is soon to see her very first movie in the theatre.