A Little Princess Reviews
When Sara's father, Captain Crewe, is called to fight in World War I, Sara (a wealthy, motherless child) has to leave her home in India and is taken to stay at an all-girls-boarding school in New York. As Sara's father accompanies her on a ship to America, he gives her a locket with a picture of her mother, a picture she also finds on one of the walls at school. Thus, making the strict, no-nonsense school, feel more like home. As Sara's father says goodbye, he wraps her in his arms and whispers quietly in her ear, "you are and you always will be my little princess."
The World War I time frame is accurately captured by horse drawn buggies trotting down brick roads, trollies with bells ringing loud, and Victorian style buildings. The film does an excellent job portraying early 1990s. Girls were dressed in stockings and women in long dresses all of which were accessorized with decoratively elaborate hats, covering ringlets of curls. Men and boys were down in long trench coats and many sported newsboy caps. Chimney boys cleaned chimneys and milkmen delivered milk. These brief scenes created take the viewer back in time, giving it a flawless finish.
Sara's character and unstoppable imagination do not fit into the proper school. Unlike all the other girls, she thrives on her imagination and she looks at the world through a different lens. This is seen as she asks why a girl, Becky, her age was dressed in rags was working as the help, and another girl replied, "Well she's a servant girl and she has dark skin. Doesn't that mean something?" This seemingly meant nothing to Sara as she climbed the stairs to the attic where Becky stayed and asked to be her friend. Additionally, despite Sara's wealth, she is the not snobbish like many of the other girls. Although, Sara is quite different than the rest, her kind heart and entertaining make-believe stories make her loved by all, despite her unfitting personality.
It is just as Sara becomes adjusted to her life at the school, that she learns her father was killed in war, leaving her penniless. Unfortunately this news comes in the midst of her eleventh birthday celebration. In order to recoup financially from the check that was due, Miss. Minchin, the owner of the school, interrupts the party and sends Sara to the attic with a black dress, allowing her to keep nothing more than her beloved doll, Emily. Orphaned and impoverished.
The theme of "the princess" is reinforced throughout the movie. When Sara loses everything and is forced to work as a servant girl, the little change she manages to scavenge gives her just enough to buy a mouth watering iced pastry. As she sits just about to bite into the sweet roll, she sees a mother with two young girls and a baby struggling to sell yellow flowers in the frosty weather in order to eat. One of the girls stood eyeing her treat with starving eyes. Without thinking, Sara stands up and without a word, hands the hungry girl her treat. As she walks away, the mother stops her and hands her a flower, saying "for the princess." This
The director was also very creative with scene transitions. Sara finishes her tail of Prince Rama later in the film with the prince attacked by arrows that released a poisonous smoke. This scene was then faded into smoke and gas effects from the war her father was fighter. The camera scans over a war trench to view her father coughing and struggling to gasp clean air. Another strategic film affect was when Sara was told her father had died during her birthday. As she was told the details of his passing, she gazed off at a lonely black balloon floating towards her. Ms. Minchin's ice-cold words "you are alone in the world" were brought into perspective and emphasized when the balloon Sara had fixed on, popped.
The intertwining theme of "the princess" really makes this a profound movie. The subtle details of Miss. Minchin and how she treats the servants within the movie leave the viewer wondering whether or not the school was proper to begin with. Although this movie is sure to shed tears, it is also an inspiring story of a girl who refused to give up. Containing no explicit content, the movie is perfect for all age groups. The meticulous details used to take this movie back in time are extraordinary and "enchanting". Not only is it a story of true perseverance, but it is also story of undying belief in oneself. Sara, a wealthy child who had need for nothing, lost her family along with everything she owned. Yet, despite these circumstances, she never lost herself. Many people attributed Sara's princess belief to her wealthy status. Ms. Minchin's cruel remark, "I expect you to remember Sara Crewe, you are not a princess any longer" rung in the air long after she left Sara in the attic. However, Sara never stopped believing in herself. Everyone hits a rough patch in the their life and this film acts an encouragement to have strength, never give up, and to be yourself, no matter how much you do not fit in. This heartfelt movie is sure to leave a footprint in your heart and an impact in your life. But above anything else, never forget you are a princess, you are special, and that will never change.
Review en Español:
Mágica y dramática, gracias a la dirección de Cuaron, A Little Princess es sin duda alguna un clásico infantil.