Princess, The

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Not suitable under 15; parental guidance to 16 (violence, themes, scary scenes, language)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Princess, The
  • a review of Princess, The completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 29 July 2022.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 15 Not suitable due to violence, themes and language.
Children aged 15–16 Parental guidance recommended due to violence, themes and language.
Children over the age of 16 Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Princess, The
Classification: MA15+
Consumer advice lines: Not available
Length: 94 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The Princess (Joey King) awakens on an unfamiliar bed only to learn that she has been drugged and imprisoned in the highest tower, handcuffed with iron shackles and guarded by brutal men for refusing to marry Julius (Dominic Cooper), an evil and conniving Lord who will do anything to become King. When his marriage plans falter due to the Princess’ change of heart, he marches his men into her kingdom and imprisons the King (Ed Stoppard), the Queen (Alex Reid) and young Princess Violet (Katelyn Rose Downey); taking their people hostage or turning them out of the castle altogether. Julius doesn’t count on the Princess’ skill as a warrior and soon he is seeking the vigilante he believes responsible for the death of numerous men, unaware the assassin is his would-be-bride. While making her way out of the tower, the Princess learns of Julius’ plot to wed her and kill her father. She redoubles her efforts to earn her father’s respect as a warrior and to set her family free. With the help of her tutor and trainer, Linh (Veronica Ngo), the Princess reaches her family only to be taken hostage with them. With her sister’s future at stake and all of their lives on the line, the Princess makes a final stand to win their freedom and to save her kingdom from falling into the hands of a brutal leader. With patience and timing, even when all seems lost, she manages to not only save their lives but also to change her destiny.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Tradition and duty; Arranged marriage; Greed for power and position at any cost; Fighting for your life and for that of your family; The role of women in medieval times; Breaking rules to change your destiny.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is frequent, graphic violence in this movie, including:

  • The Princess breaks and or dislocates her fingers in order to remove her handcuffs. She then smashes her captor in the face with the iron shackles before he slams her into a beam.
  • The Princess uses her hairpin to repeatedly stab a guard in the eye. She smashes him into a wall, jamming the pin through his eye and into his brain.
  • The Princess throws a glass at another guard and stabs another. She punches a guard, kicks him in the knees and shoves him out a tower window.
  • The Princess smashes a guard in the chest with a mallet.
  • The Princess watches her family being ruthlessly dragged to their knees and sees Violet spit in Julius’ face.
  • A guard grabs the Princess around the neck and tries to strangle her. She kicks him in the groin and he attacks her with his sword. He continually hits the wall with his sword while she tries not to get cut. She grabs on to his helmet as he tries to strangle her again and she manages to twist the helmet and pry it off before stabbing him through with the helmet’s horns.
  • The Princess shoots arrows, with a cross bow, into two men, purposely killing both.
  • There is a flashback of the Princess sword fighting with Linh and the man who trained her.
  • Julius speaks of executing the King and, “purging the kingdom of its weakness”,
  • The Princess stabs a guard in the armpit and thighs before dousing him in oil and setting him on fire.
  • A woman cracks a whip at a man’s throat. The whip has a knife tucked in the end and she cuts out his trachea.
  • The Princess is sliced across the arm by a sword.
  • The Princess rips off her beaded necklace and throws the beads down the stairs. The guards fall all over the place while she runs over top of them. She then breaks a man’s leg, hangs him upside down and breaks the other leg.
  • The Princess slices a guard across the face with her sword. She then kicks, elbows, punches and stabs a man with a sword.
  • A man chases the Princess with a hammer.
  • The Princess slices a man across the knees with her sword. She stabs him in the chest while he strangles her and then stabs him in the neck and up through his throat.
  • There is much slicing, stabbing, kicking, punching, throwing and fighting as the Princess battles an army of men in a stairwell. She is sliced across the waist and cut in the arm.
  • The Princess jumps across the stairwell, taking a man with her as a human shield. She lands on him, breaking her fall and breaking his back as he impacts the concrete steps.
  • It is recounted how ruthless Julius was when he seized the kingdom.
  • The Princess and Linh fight three men with axes and swords in the kitchen. They slice one man off his feet, throw boiling water at another and stab the third through the chest.
  • A woman tries to strangle the Princess with her whip while she attempts to hang her.
  • Linh sets the kitchen on fire.
  • The Princess uses her sword to slice the three guards keeping watch over her parents. She cuts one across the stomach, one across the back and the third across the knees.
  • Julius slaps Violet across the face saying that he will kill the Princess and wed the child.
  • The Princess is thrown out of a window. After the shower of glass she lands in the water and nearly drowns.
  • Violet knocks down a huge man with chains.
  • There is a fierce battle as the Princess and Linh try to stop Julius from marrying Violet. The Princess slices straight up one man’s legs, through his armour and up to his throat.
  • Julius tries to kill the King.
  • The Princess strangles a woman with her own whip, hangs her and cracks her neck.
  • Julius runs Linh through with his sword.
  • Julius and the Princess battle each other with swords. The Princess is severely wounded and just when it looks like all is lost, she decapitates Julius with his own sword.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Some of the guards wear strange-looking helmets and armour that give them a sinister edge, making them look dangerous and menacing. Their appearances, coupled with the fact that they are almost always trying to violently kill the Princess, will be distressing to younger viewers.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • The young Princess Violet is separated from her parents and is being forced to marry the evil Julius. The scene where Violet is about to be dragged away and realisation dawns on the Princess’ face, coupled with the distress and anguish of the King and Queen, is likely to upset some children.
  • There is frequent, graphic violence throughout the film, often involving the Princess. She is, at all times, under threat of death and must kill others in order to survive. The constant sense of peril along with all the gory visuals is likely to be distressing to some children.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • A guard leers at the Princess and says, “I like a girl in lace”.
  • The Princess says to Julius that she knows her role is to be by his side through the day and “at his service” through the night.
  • A brothel is mentioned where they let you drink for free.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Julius and a woman share a passionate kiss. She tells him, “I know you need to save your strength for that prat of a bride...”, and the next minute is all over him. They are interrupted before things go further.
  • There is a brief glimpse upwards, between a man’s legs. By the time you realise that you are looking at the sheathed, scrotum of a man and not a statue, the statue comes to life and a fight sequence begins.
  • A masked guard urinates (viewers can see the stream of wee but little else). He then turns and admires his bare chest in a mirror before leaving the room.
  • A kitchen maid is attacked by a group of guards. They surround her, touch her and talk about taking off her clothes. An imminent rape is implied but the Princess and Linh interrupt them before things are taken too far.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • The Princess has a flashback of being drugged and dragged to the tower after refusing to marry Julius.
  • Numerous men drink throughout the film and some appear drunk.
  • The Princess takes a huge drink from a jug of what can only be assumed is ale or mead.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Bitch
  • Fuck off
  • Cow
  • Tub of lard
  • Prat
  • Useless harlot
  • Bloody hell.

In a nutshell

The Princess is an action-packed adventure, full of gory violence. Though it is set in a castle in medieval times, this is not a fairy tale or a family film but rather one that is suited to mature audiences.

The main messages from this movie are that real power comes not from your blade but from your heart; and women are far more than just beautiful wives or pieces of property – They can be leaders, they can be warriors and they can be wise. They can change the destiny of a kingdom or the course of history and should be considered the equal of men.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Courage
  • Determination
  • Loyalty
  • Ingenuity
  • Wisdom
  • Fortitude.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • A man taking a child bride.
  • Being forced to marry for the sake of tradition, political alliance or duty.
  • Forcing your will on others and using violence and threats as a means to get what you want.
  • Believing that women or girls are only suited to certain roles and are not as capable as men.