Movie Review – A Little Princess

Posted: December 19, 2015 in Movie Reviews
Tags: , ,

After reading the book and surfing in net about it I got to know that the book was adapted into a movie by Alfonso Cuaron. But I wasn’t really looking forward to watch this in a movie because I was certain that the innocence in the book couldn’t have been able to be captured on screen. It was not the case with Age of Innocence, where I was looking forward to watch the movie because it was by master Scorsese and had Daniel Day Lewis. But Cuaron being a responsible director I anyways thought that I’d give it a try.

a little princess

If the book is Sara’s version of the story then the movie is her father, Captain Crewe’s version of the story. Cuaron has taken enough liberty with the book by changing a lot of important aspects. Does everything succeed is a question mark. Even for a person who watches just the movie I’m sure that it definitely wouldn’t get into their top lists.

Liesel Matthews as Sara Crew is a brilliant selection. Not for a moment do we feel that she isn’t Sara. But the surprise package here is Eleanor Bron as Miss Minchin who betters the character in the book. In fact her character was splendidly written.

Of the few liberties which Cuaron had taken, the Ramayana thing was a very good thought but a French kiss between Rama and Sita and Ravan (being severely mispronounced) was a bit too much imagination. The confrontations between Sara and Miss Minchin were a treat to watch because it’s easy to write saying that, “Sara always had that disciple, Sara always used the right words without offending”. But to write the dialogues for such things and enact it perfectly definitely deserves a bow.

But the best scene of the book, the bakery scene was omitted, also the neighbors scene. I don’t think it’d have mattered much if it had been kept that way, except for the length of the film nothing much would have been affected. But I guess Cuaron wanted to keep it short so cut short the story rather than simplifying.

The simplification process more than the story, happens to characters dimension. Almost everyone is single dimensioned. Just a teeny weeny bit different was her neighbor Radolph (Arthur Malet), but his role is too small to be noticed. Otherwise Sara is plainly a princess, Miss Minchin is pure evil and Amelia (Rusty Schwimmer) is fat, thus dumb. Too easy isn’t it. In the book each of these characters were written with a so much heart and soul. Especially Miss Minchin who from clever, turns evil and ends up being hurt. In spite of that we actually feel for her. But here in the climax, the way she ends up as a rag picker was little over the line.

Climax is the main culprit of the film, too much drama. Not something we expect from Cuaron, a person who even made a confusing, rather sketchy climax of Prisoner of Azkhaban into a superb one. A Little Princess is definitely isn’t a film to look out for until and unless you want to exhaust Alfonso Cuaron.

  1. I’ve loved this movie since I was a child- great review!

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