The Film (4.5/5)
Princess is not a simple revenge story. It is a story about loss and guilt, and how the characters of the film deal with these things. Princess is the story of August, a priest who returns home after the death of his sister Christina. He simply wants to adopt her daughter, and give her a normal life. Unfortunately, this will not be very easy for August to accomplish, you see, his sister was the world famous porn star known as the “Princess.” And even after her death her work in the industry haunts him.
His initial idea is to simply call the company she worked for Paradise Lust, and request that they stop selling her work, and destroy what is left of it. They, of course, laugh in his face. He then realizes that he must force the deletion by killing Charlie his late sister's boyfriend and owner of Paradise Lust. He tries to enact his revenge with Christina's daughter Mia by his side.
Princess utilizes a mix of live action video with a very minimalist style of animation to tell the story of August, Mia, and there attempts to cope with their loss and guilt. It is an extremely beautiful and disturbing film. The film is being marketed by Tartan as an anime feature, and while it is animated it really has nothing in common with the Japanese genre of animation. So do not going in expecting a straightforward revenge anime, you won't get it. You will, however, get one of the most amazing pieces of cinema released to Region 1 DVD this year.
Palisades-Tartan have chosen to release Princess in a 2:35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen trailer. The transfer used it absolutely stunning, and does wonders in brining the colors of the animation out. The only downside is that the transfer is interlaced rather than progressive, and it occasionally shows. The film is a bit rough during the video segments, however, the look of these scenes are intentional, and therefore don't count against the transfer as a whole.
Princess has been equipped with a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack in Danish. It is a very clear and consistent track. There is no noticable grain or audio problems present. The dialogue is crisp, and can be heard perfectly throughout the feature. It is presented with optional English subtitles.
For such an amazing film Princess is light on the extras. The only ones included are trailers for other Palisades Tartan releases. In doing research for this review, I found out that Princess was inspired by an older Morganthaler short film Araki: The Killing of a Japanese Photographer. It would have been nice if Tartan would have included this film with their release of Princess so we could see how Princess evolved from the earlier film. However, those who wish to see it can do so here
Princess is an absolutely beautiful, yet disturbing film. If you love great and interesting film you should definitely seek it out. The film is violent at times, and deals with heavy issues, but is a rewarding viewing experience. Tartan has done an excellent job in the A/V department, the only complaint I have it the lack of extras provided on the disc. Overall, a great DVD of a great film, and an excellent introduction to the films of Anders Morganthaler.