Review: Princess and a Half Kingdom is a rescue of the Czech television fairy tale

Part of the current Christmas festival is some traditions that keep and apparently cannot be broken because they have been experienced for many years. Specifically, it is not about habits such as pouring lead, baking cookies or throwing shoes, but about television as an integral part of Christmas.

Play Hřebejk’s Christmas Eve Pelíšky This has made Christmas television a timeless classic. However, this is only the case after you have complained about a new TV fairy tale. However, this scenario has changed this year.

Unfortunately, the past few years have had the tradition that the new Czech television fairy tales are terrible, but unfortunately we can only agree. Who knows, this has been happening for about four years. Wonderful concepts, too conspicuous and unnecessary setups, horrific drama performances, crazy trick post-production or unmanaged fairy tales by the director that you would not expect.

For example, tragic The promised princess by director Ivan Pokorný, who was perceived as the worst TV fairy tale in recent years and terrible The right knight Martin Dolenský or Magician rye Zdeněk Zelenka, the modern reason for last year’s Czech fairy tale. The debate was pretty lively about what this Christmas Eve fairy tale will be. There was a whole lot of advice, it should be a fairy tale that starts where others stop. The main roles are Matouš Ruml and Eva Josefíková.

Princess and half kingdom is a remarkable film, even if it doesn’t go beyond its genre. Quite firm in it and uses familiar signs and clearly given signs, but on the contrary, evolves from its predecessors. He then rubs thematically against the personality cult, suggests a separation between the lives of the lower and upper classes and tries very hard to learn the basics of etiquette. He is characterized above all by his excellent direction, in which director Karel Janák demonstrates his feeling for tragic-comic situations. He can do this thanks to Petr Hudský’s excellent script, which was recommended as funny, which may be sometimes, but can rather be described as instructive and above all extraordinary, especially at an unusually pleasant and lively pace.

While monothematic characters, scenes and conclusions have been preserved (peasant versus pretentious prince who wins), Husky has managed to break away from it and to present a script that also addresses several contemporary phenomena and makes them the main theme. In this way it is the target group – children – that tries to perceive the world a little differently than before. The scenario is fully functional and may only hurt the fact that the fairy tale as a genre retains its special characters, which is difficult to change, and secondly, a fairly illogical time loop when it is rushing to save the princess, but it actually looks that way Characters would not recognize the loop if they unnecessarily stop every second step.

The third important component of the picture is the camera. For the first time, the well-known cameraman Jan Š Absolastný, a graduate of the Prague FAMU, stood up for the fairy tale, whose work is very specific and is characterized by a live and live camera, which is rather unusual in fairy tales. After all, Happy confirmed his work on the series County Championship. Lajna or in the film domestic carefor which he was nominated for the Czech Lion. While the habit has so far been a not very dramatic camera that deviates completely from history, Jan Šťastný introduced a completely new perspective in which the camera can also be the creator of the story and one of the sliders of the viewer’s thinking.

Janak relies on proven faces with whom he has already worked on his previous television fairy tales, such as Matouš Ruml, Eva Josefíková, Maroš Kramár and Veronika Freimanová. However, the new face is Jakub Prachař, who in his role initially appears absolutely horrific and does not appear at all, but over time and gradually begins to reveal the cult of the personality of his character, the presumptuous prince, it turns out that his rendering actually does its meaning took place, and it was not a spectacle, but a kind of transformation and play of its character. As soon as this fact is justified, the viewer begins to look at the figure differently, and if he has been uncomfortable so far, he is very afraid of it. This is what Happy records with his great camera that takes a single duster off the ceiling while everyone else is at eye level or from above.

Princess and half kingdom presents a lot of new things and is characterized by subject, camera and direction in the TV fairy tale genre. Although, of course, he looks into the past in some ways and sometimes copies certain motifs, he does bring something that is easy for both the small audience and the older audience to understand. He discovers Mark Eben, who not only knows his way around etiquette, but also as a master of acting timing. It also offers an excellently written, staged and played tragicomic scene of a carriage wedding, which is one of the highlights of the Czech television fairy tale in recent years.

Princess and half kingdom
Czech Republic, 2019, 92 min
pohádka
director: Karel Janák
Scenario: Petr Hudský
Actor: Matous Ruml, Eva Josefikova, Marek Eben, Jakub Prachar, Maros Kramak, Veronika Freimanova and others

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