Why Hulu’s The Princess is a celebration of feminism

Let’s face it. Tales of princes and princesses needed a facelift for some time now. Of course, some popular Disney movies in recent memory have started to buck the usual trends. Audiences saw Mulan take down hordes of Mongol barbarians, Tiana brave an amphibious transformation and eventually open her own restaurant, and Rapunzel topple her tower to embark on an epic adventure, hair in tow.

Luckily, live-action medieval movies started to have the same idea. Women are no longer relegated to the role of mere playthings for knights and kings. Take, for example, movies like the recently released Princesswhich stars Joey King (The Dark Knight Rises, Independence Day: Resurgence) as the titular princess, who throughout the film is never named, which is likely a reference to how historical female characters can often be overlooked.

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Although the gender roles inherent in the time period the film is set are still pervasive, Joey King’s Princess spends the entire duration of the film battling patriarchy, a concept that in this universe is not defined by discrepancies. paychecks and microaggressions, but rather sword-wielding mercenaries and ruthless royals. Although the reviews of 2022 Princess were somewhat mixed, there was almost unanimous praise in the critical media for Joey King’s performance and his portrayal of a headstrong and powerful royal.

Here are some of the reasons why The Princess is the perfect feminist movie.

Medieval gender roles

It goes without saying that any play from the medieval period will be plagued with discussions of gender politics. 2022 Princess is no exception to this rule. At the start of the film, the princess is about to be married to Julius, played by Dominic Cooper (Captain America: The First Avenger, Agent Carter), the son of a royal diplomat whose philosophy regarding royalty is completely ruthless.

Obviously Joey King’s character isn’t interested in this pre-arranged marriage. When she leaves Cooper’s Julius standing at the altar, her team of mercenaries, which includes Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace, Black Widow) Moira, a callous killer wielding a whip, isn’t too pleased.

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They forcibly take control of the castle and lock the princess in a tower. Locking up a woman so she can marry later is a common trope in medieval films, and Princess shows its feminist streak when King’s character escapes imprisonment and provokes the raucous violence that characterizes the film’s climax.

While other films might have featured a brave knight felling hordes of enemy combatants as he climbs a spiral staircase to the top of a castle, where he finds a weeping damsel in distress, throws her over his shoulder and brandishes his blade in one hand as he makes a daring escape, Princess allows the titular character of Joey King to do his own rescue.

A trio of female warriors WarriorFemale

Of course, the tradition of having women in action roles is nothing new. One can refer to popular modern Disney princesses or recent action fare, like game of throneswhich featured Gwendoline Christie’s (Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) Brienne of Tarthor, an imposing swordswoman of some notoriety, or the wonder woman films, which feature the proud collective of female warriors known as the Amazons who inhabit the island of Themyscira.

Related: The Princess Review: Joey King Kills The Die Hard Fairy Tale

At the end of Princessaudiences are privy to a new crew of female warriors when Joey King’s princess, fresh from a terrifying fall into the castle lake that has many viewers fearing for the character’s life, teams up with Veronica Ngo (Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Da 5 Bloods) Linh, the princess’ combat instructor, and Violet from the young Irish dancer Katelyn Rose Downey, the sister of King’s character. The trio gather weapons from a hidden warehouse and take over the castle by force, killing countless men many times their size and turning the film’s climax into an epic feminist bloodbath.

Of course, the fight for gender equality is timeless and sometimes it seems there has been little progress since the days of kings and queens. Fortunately, Hollywood creators have begun to tell stories centered around powerful women. Princess could be a perfect example of this fact. Joey King’s character is subject to all the trappings of a sexist medieval society. She is forced into an arranged marriage and locked in the tallest tower.

However, her character never gives in to her fate, choosing instead to rely on her illicitly acquired combat skills and the help of her powerful friends to fight tooth and nail against her oppressors. For these reasons, Princess is a celebration of feminism.

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