“Her heart was torn between love and the future of Hawaii.”
Well, I watched Princess Kaiulani with Melissa last night.
The movie is basically about Princess Victoria Kaiulani Kalaninuiahilapalapa Kawekiui Lunalilo's journey from a little girl growing up in the rugged, tropical beauty of Hawaii in the 1800's to a young woman standing up for her Country and fighting for the right's of her people. It was slow moving and quiet, but interesting. This will give you a bit more into the basic story before I go into my thoughts on the film...
Okay, soooo...the basic premise of the movie was good but a few things really started to irritate me (and caused me to become irritated with the movie itself.) one was the kissing scenes. They eventually got...um...kind of ridiculous? Not really scandalous - just super awkward. The other thing that bothered me was the fact that everything went waaaay too fast. I mean, we were just introduced to the guy 5 minutes ago and already it's two years later and they're kissing each other like there's no tomorrow??!!! What??? I'm not talking about once or twice but like, 8 times - never-ending-ly awkward kissing scenes. :P Pleaaaase, people - get on with the story.
(Also, Princess Kaiulani giggles constantly. ANNOYING.)
Just to clarify - it's not like I'm unromantic or unfeeling or anything, but this was NOT romance. This was the director not helping you get to know the characters but deciding to make up for that by passionate kissing and giggles over and over and over again. Sorry, but that doesn't fly with me. I want to FEEL for the characters! I want to know them and care about what happens to them. I want to feel like these people are my friends and their fate is something that I actually feel something about.
Now for the positive things I found in the movie (yes, there are some! :))
I thought that the actor who played for the Princess' aunt was wonderful. She didn't have many lines, but the ones that she did have were delivered powerfully and with much emotion.
Another thing that I really loved was the cinematography...I thought that the sweeping views of Hawaii (a Hawaii that's not swarming with tourists. ;)) were breathtaking and Melissa and I both agreed that we wished we could've visited Hawaii before the 1900's.
I have not read very much about Princess Kaiulani, or her story, so I'm not sure how much of the movie was true, but I talked with my Dad a bit afterward, and told him some of the facts that the movie had communicated to me and he informed me that many of them were true to history. Which brings me to the one thing that I found extremely interesting and thought-provoking about the movie...
I am most assuredly NOT Anti-American (I love my Country!) but it really, really annoys me when I hear of us Americans sticking our noses where we have no business. :P Yes, we are called to take dominion (as Christians.) - but Hawaii was a Christian country - we're not to take dominion of each other. :P
We invaded Hawaii and claimed it as our own. This was NOT our right and not something that we should have done. Of course, we take that a step further and only landowners in Hawaii could vote. Now I think that would be a fine decision here in the States, but in Hawaii, 90% of the population were Hawaiian - and none of them owned land. Kind of ridiculous - agreed?
Anyway, before this film I had known very little of the history of Hawaii and how it came to be an American state, so I really appreciated the learning experience that it afforded me.
Morally, the movie was acceptable and there were several moments where I saw examples of Christ-like love and sacrifice. One part that particularly stood out to me was Kaiulani showing kindness and mercy to the teacher who had been so cruel towards her in the beginning. A true picture of Christ and an example we would all do well to follow.
In closing, I wish I could say "Go see this movie!" and "It was amazing!", but really, I can't and it wasn't. But if you have an evening with nothing else to do, and you want to watch a relatively clean and quiet documentary-style film - I'd say to give it a go.