Hawaii is one of the three states I have left to visit to complete my list of seeing all 50 states. I am saving it for last because I want to spend more time there to explore the islands. From friends’ descriptions I know I want to hike to the top of a dormant volcano, where clouds can be found nestling in its crater. Just from the photos I have seen, it appears as if the colors bursting from thick foliage, abundantly blankets the land. With these visions as a constant reminder, I was eager to receive this movie based on true events. Set in the late 1800’s the story was about Princess Kaiulani, played by Q’orianka Kilcher (The New World, Neverland), the last royal family member of the Hawaiian monarchy. As a young girl she was sent to England for her safety. Being schooled and raised in a foreign land was hard for the princess; some people referred to her as the “Barbarian Princess.” However, it was in England where she eventually fell in love with Clive Davies, played by Shaun Evans (Being Julia, Cashback). With the United States looking to colonize her country, the Princess would have to choose between her love for Clive or her homeland. The historical aspect of the story, such as it was here, was what held my interest in this film. My lack of knowledge in Hawaii’s colonization made this viewing experience sad for me. The beauty of the land was finely displayed in the filming. I thought this movie’s downfall was the love interest part. Even if it was true, it was a distraction for what had a bigger impact as a story–the royal monarchy versus the United States. The acting was forgettable for the most part; however, I thought the scene with President Grover Cleveland was well done. Though I still plan on visiting Hawaii one day, I now realize the road to paradise was filled with potholes.
1 3/4 stars — DVD