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while lovingly produced chose to spend an excessive amount of time on the love story, which is the least interesting aspect of ...
on September 28, 2017
The historical aspects of this movie are fascinating. While I was watching I dove into Wikipedia to find out more about the end of the Hawaiian monarchy because the story is so compelling. Sadly, I found the Wikipedia page to be more interesting than the movie itself. The film, while lovingly produced chose to spend an excessive amount of time on the love story, which is the least interesting aspect of Kaiulani's life (in fact the romance featured in the film never even happened), instead of really focusing on what made her such a memorable character to begin with. The pacing of the movie is all over the place, and they set up a series of "speeches" for Kaiulani to deliver but I never felt the emotion or the passion behind them. The story itself is a powerful lesson in what happens when you interfere in other cultures and take something that doesn't belong to you, and overall the performances are fine but not especially memorable. I think the filmmakers also squandered an opportunity to showcase what actually happened to Kaiulani at the end of her short lived life, and the physical stress and sickness she endured trying to save the monarchy. It was a lost opportunity to really showcase a woman who drove herself to an early grave fighting for what she believed in. All in all, by no means a terrible movie, but really a lost opportunity to showcase a side of Hawaiian history that most people aren't familiar with.