Princess review

:. Director: Anders Morgenthaler
:. Starring: Thure Lindhardt, Stine Fischer Christensen
:. Running Time: 1:30
:. Year: 2006
:. Country: Denmark

Anders Morgenthaler is known in his country for his timely cartoons in the Danish daily newspaper Politiken, his comic strips and a cult children's series. With the vision of his first full-length film, Princess, one guesses from the first shots that this isn't an animated movie for kids .

A priest enters a house in which a naked and pregnant actress, his sister, is shooting a film with three actors. After her death, following drug abuse and years of the grind of the porn industry, he collects his five year old niece and decides to avenge her memory by launching an attack against all the products in which she appears. A crusade which quickly sinks into extreme violence with no looking back.

"I am not scandalized. I am not a puritan. But I have my opinions, and I cannot take any more of this "liberated" indifference with respect to pornography", declares Morgenthaler. With that, his hero is a priest, a sort of exterminating angel who carries out a blood bath splashing the walls and the swimming pool tiles of the producers and all those he sees responsible for the death of his sister.

Though the project of treating this dark story of revenge is ambitious, from using various animation techniques to digital, all while integrating scenes shot with real actors in a style inspired by the universe of Japanese animé, the result, unfortunately, does not go the distance.

The director doesn't manage to create chemistry between the heteroclite materials that he uses: The transitions betwen the poetic scenes of tenderness between an emotionally and physically bruised child and a powerless man trying to coax her out of her shell and the violent fight scenes are done without nuance. Unease (the young girl serves justice by emasculating her rapist to death with a hind kick) and poetry (the stuffed rabbit becoming animated as the uncle and his niece get to know each other) meet without crossing and the scenes function separately, so that film doesn't manage to have one unifying tone. This is also true for the artistic direction, with the characters contrasting with the décor, some of which using a broad pallet of colors contrary to the other rather simplistic animated elements.

Princess explores several styles and several paths without getting to the end of any of them. So much so that these paths take off in almost opposite directions. A Disappointment.

  Moland Fengkov
  Translated into English by Anji Milanovic

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