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Top Customer Reviews
The movie was very moving, a love story, with a beginning, middle and end. When we describe love, we tend to look at just the best parts and skip the ugly. Although the movie wasn't completely factual, it was a good depiction of how the time was and the politics of the day. How can you summize a person's life in 120 minutes? It's just a brief moment in time that is covered. Some of the facts were missing in the story, she did die on the Big Island and maybe that should have been shown, but there was enough sadness that we all know and understand.
What I appreciated most was hearing the Hawaiian language spoken so beautifully and seeing King Kalakaua portrayed onscreen. I was engaged and intrigued from the moment the movie started. I plan on watching it over and over and over again. When my daughter is old enough to understand the story, we will watch it together over and over and over again.
Don't miss this documentation of American history that Americans seldom discuss.
The DVD also includes a featurette entitled "Princess Ka`iulani: Behind the Scenes", which includes interviews with cast members and filmmakers that provides a fascinating insight into the making of this important film: The first to showcase the Hawaiian Monarchy and the language of Hawai`i. In addition to the production of the film, the featurette explores the music behind the film, the unprecedented opportunity to film inside `Iolani Palace, and the challenges of balancing history and drama while maintaining respect for the culture of Hawai`i.
Don't get me wrong, Princess Kaiulani played an extremely important role in helping to secure full rights for her people when the island kingdom of Hawaii was overwhelmed by American interests and military intervention. She is a beloved part of Hawaiian history...it's just that I wish the producers and director of this film had focused on that instead of on a seemingly endless series of prologned Victorian-era make-out scenes between the princess and a young British man.
There was only passing mention of the conspiring American land owners who brought about the downfall of the last King and Queen of Hawaii, decisions made to send US troops to the islands to "protect American lives and interests", and backroom dealings made to try to subjugate the Hawaiian people to a 2nd or 3rd class citizen status. Those deplorable dealings should have been the focus of the film. I would also like to have seen more of the native Hawaiian's efforts to retain their land and country, even in the face of overwhelming military superiority by US forces.
I have to admit that the one thing that this movie did inspire in me was a desire to learn more about the history of Hawaii, mainly because so little was actually outlined and focused on in this film.
All in all the movie was OK, but I have no need to see it again.
Just a so-so effort...3-stars.
I'm an amateur historian living in Hawai'i with an interest in the latter years of the Hawaiian Monarchy - and primarily the life of Princess Ka'iulani. I was so happy to hear about a film version of her life being made and in such a way that would bring dignity and insight into her life and times.
I've seen the film 3 times so far - I love it! This film did not have a huge budget to work with, but I think they did a wonderful job with the funds that they did have.
I also think the casting is excellent - Q'orianka Kilcher has a quiet dignity and humility that I think brings the Princess to life - and while not kanaka ma'oli (Native Hawaiian), she was brought up in Hawai'i early in her life, so she has some background here. She does an excellent job playing the young princess from about age 13 up to her early 20's - showing her maturing thru hardship and the tragedy of the illegal Overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom. The latter scenes in the film especially are powerful as they show her growing and becoming politically aware of the situation and doing what she can to stop the U.S. government from taking over her Kingdom.
The facts of the Overthrow are here in this film - are they all timeline correct and everything historically accurate to a "t"? No - but the big picture of the Overthrow is there and this film is meant to go to a wide audience and show what happened here and who these people were - it hopefully would give a "kick start" to someone who is truly interested into going farther into their research and reading about this turbulent and controversial part of Hawai'i's history.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Q'orianka Kilcher did a wonderful job showing emotions. I learned more about little known history that is not taught in schools.Published 5 days ago by nh
This is a wonderful story. The acting and editing are not the best. However, I think it is an important story that more people need to experience.Published 5 days ago by Agiarde
Beautifully filmed story about a slice of history probably not well understood by most people.Published 21 days ago by Thom
Excellent historical drama depicting little known actual history of the addition of Hawaii to the United States of America. Read morePublished 22 days ago by CJ Smith
As a movie, it totally works. But after I read about how the Princess's affair with a European man was entirely made up, and how the movie is trying to come across as historically... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Vinny Wolf
Absolutely a chick flick, guys stay away you will be bored to sleep.Published 2 months ago by wild bill
Nice movie but could have included more on what was happening in Hawaii and the significance of Hawaiians getting back the right to vote and not about some love affair that never... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Dwight Reed
It's an interesting true life story about Hawaiian Princess-in-Waiting, Ka'iulani, who did her best but ultimately was unable to save her island nation from being taken over by... Read morePublished 2 months ago by MAM