You may define your own banner on the settings page.
FilmsAsia: Asian film reviews
Soh Yun-Huei
Dave Chua
Brandon Wee
Wong Lung Hsiang
Felix Cheong
Foong Ngai Hoe
Adrian Sim
Chris Khoo
O Thiam Chin
Lau Chee Nien
Ambient Noise
Sarhan Rashid
Ying Wuen
Ellery Ngiam
Toh Hai Leong
Toh Hai Leong, Auteur
Wong Kar Wai
The Seduction of Wong Kar Wai
Tsai Ming Liang
Lav Diaz
Mikio Naruse
Leslie Cheung
Jonathan Foo Interview
Chinese Ghosts
Assassins in Asian FIlms
Sex in Asian Cinema
Erotic Cinema of the Shaw Studios
Homosexuality in Chinese Films
My Left Eye Sees Creativity
Hollywood Remakes
Comic Book Superheroes
One League of Social Consciousness
Emerging Trends in East Asian Cinema
Postwar Korean Cinema
Decline of Hong Kong Cinema before 1997
Rise of Afghan Films
Singapore's Mini Cinema
Creating A Singapore Cinema
Why Cinema is Important to Singapore
Singapore Film Industry
Rites of Passage
Replying to Critics
Daniel Yun Interview
Singapore International Film Festival
Bangkok International Film Festival
Tokyo International Film Festival
Toronto International Film Festival
Writer's Block
All Tomorrow's Parties
And Also the Eclipse
Another Heaven
At Five in the Afternoon
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
Bangkok Haunted
Barking Dogs Never Bite
Batang West Side
Battle Royale
Bear Hug
Beautiful Boxer
Beijing Rocks
Bend It Like Beckham
Best of Times
Betelnut Beauty
Big Durian
Big Shot's Funeral
Bird Man Tale
Blissfully Yours
Blue Kite
Bounce Ko Gals
Brighter Summer Day, A
Cafe Lumiere
Cat Returns
Chinese Odyssey 2002
City of Glass
City Sharks
Color of the Truth
Color Blossoms
Confucian Confusion
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
Dark Water
Destination 9th Heaven
Divine Intervention
Double Vision
Dumlings: 3 Extremes
Enter the Phoenix
Era of Vampire, The
Eye, The
Eye 2, The
Eye 10, The
Fat Choy Spirit
Floating Weeds
Fog of War, The
Formula 17
Full Alert
Ghost in the Shell
God or Dog
Golden Chicken
Golden Chicken 2
Goodbye, Dragon Inn
Guru, The
Hana-Bi (Fireworks)
Harold and Kumar
Hidden Blade, The
House of Flying Daggers
House of Fury
House of Sand and Fog
Howl's Moving Castle
I Not Stupid
In the Mood for Love
Infernal Affairs
Infernal Affairs III
Innocence: Ghost in the Shell 2
Iron Ladies 2
Isle, The
Jan Dara
Jealousy is My Middle Name
Joint Security Area
Ju-On: The Grudge (2003)
July Rhapsody
Korban Fitnah
Kung Fu Hustle
Lan Yu
Last Life in the Universe
Last Samurai, The
Legend of Zu, The
Liang Po Po
Love Letter
Lucky Number
Marry a Rich Man
Me Thao
Medallion, The
Monrak Transistor
Moveable Feast, A
Munna Bhai M.B.B.S.
Musa the Warrior
My Left Eye Sees Ghosts
My Neighbors The Yamadas
My Sassy Girl
Naked Weapon
Name of a River, The
New Police Story
Nobody Knows
Nobody Knows How to be a Film Critic
One Leg Kicking
Perfect Blue
Phone, The
Ping Pong
Pirated Copy
Princess D
River, The
Road Home
Romance of Book and Sword
Runaway Pistol
S Diary
S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine
Scent of Green Papaya
Seoul Raiders
Seventeen Years
Shall We Dance?
Shanghai Knights
Shaolin Soccer
Singapore Gaga
Skywalk is Gone
So-Called Friends
So Close
Someone Special
Song of the Stork
Spider Forest
Spirited Away
Spring Summer Fall Winter Spring
Stories About Love
Storm Riders
Summer Holiday
Sumpah Pontianak
Super Size Me
Surprise Party
Swing Girls
Tale of Two Sisters, A
Tears of the Black Tiger
Teenage Textbook Movie
This Charming Girl
Three: Extremes
Tokyo Raiders
Touch, The
Tree, The
Truth or Dare
Twelve Storeys
Twenty-Four Eyes
Twins Effect
Twins Effect 2
Virgin Stripped Bare by her Bachelors
Visitor Q
Volcano High
Warriors of Heaven and Earth
Way Home, The
Welcome Back Mr McDonald
Wesley's Mysterious File
When I Fall In Love With Both
Wishing Stairs
Wolves Cry Under the Moon
Woman is the Future of Man
Women's Private Parts
World Without Thieves, A
Zombie Dog
A Time to Live A Time to Die
e-mail me

   Princess D  


Princess D

Reviewed by Soh Yun-Huei

Directors: Sylvia Chang, Alan Yuen
Writing Credits: Sylvia Chang, Alan Yuen
Cast: Daniel Wu, Angelica Lee, Edison Chen, Patricia Ha, Anthony Wong
Genre: Romance Science Fiction
Country: Hong Kong
Language: Cantonese
Year Released: 2001
Runtime: 106 min
Rating: **½ (out of four stars)

Princess D is one of those movies that you want to say is good, because it's so well intended... but you can't. Directed by Sylvia Chang and Alex Yuen, Princess D seems so much like a labor of love it seems almost cruel to criticize the film. However, despite the pretty people and acceptable visuals, this is much like Tempting Hearts, Sylvia Chang’s previous work. Princess D is a slow, vacuous film that isn’t particularly interesting to sit through, and it suffers from illusions of grandeur - trying a bit too hard to incorporate social messages into the plot.

Princess D tells the tale of Joker (Daniel Wu), a computer programmer who is bent on creating the perfect cyberbabe - one that is not really perfect, but is closest to being a human. He finds Ling (Lee Xin Jie), a rebellious bartender, to be an inspiration, and models his cyberbabe after her. The virtual creation even gets a name - Princess D. However, not everyone on the creative team thinks that Ling is the suitable model for their creation, but Joker is steadfast in his decision. Meanwhile, Joker's younger brother Kid (Edison Chan) tries to make an Internet-based romance work, but soon finds that it may not be what he wants.

Ling comes with a lot of emotional baggage - her father (Jonathan Lee in a cameo appearance) is serving time in prison, her mother (Xia Wen Xi) suffers from dementia, and her younger brother is constantly involved in fights and other delinquent activities. As Joker works with Ling, he finds himself falling deeper and deeper in love with her. Of course, Ling’s problems seem to multiply once her romance develops with Joker, much like many other romance movies of this ilk. When Ling’s brother gets into serious trouble again, Ling has to decide whether to help her brother out of the fix - only this time, the stakes are much higher than before.

Princess D strives to present a realistic view of how the youth of today deal with love and loss, but the story seems a little bit too farfetched to be considered close to the truth. In fact, at times the movie seems just a bit too manipulative, and cynical moviegoers (like myself) may find it difficult to identify with the film. Although a romance is understandably slower than most other genres, there are times where Princess D rambles for minutes on end seemingly without much direction. You wait ages for something to happen, and when something does happen, you find that it's not really worth the wait - which really is a downer.

Performance-wise, although all three main leads are attractive to look at, they present no true thespian talent. It's the bit players like Anthony Wong (who plays Joker and Kid's father) and Xia Wen Xi who manages to impress despite relatively short amounts of screen time. Since the film's theme is about the creation of a virtual entity, there are quite a few computer-animated sequences. These are generally of pretty high quality, but other than being eye candy, do not do much to forward the plot of the film. Princess D isn't a bad movie, but, like a real princess, it spends too much time standing around and doing nothing.

Final Word: As far as Chinese commercial films go, Princess D is a relatively safe choice; however, it’s also a rather bland movie.