Go see this film.
Tom Tykwer's most recent film to come to America got me - and it should get you too.
Like all Tykwer's films in the end The Princess and the Warrior lives and dies on its raw, evisceral emotional impact. Very few directors working today have such a handle on the ability to evoke such wild and far reaching emotional responses which seemingly come from nowhere or come from sources outside the expected norm.
Run Lola Run succeeds primarially thanks to its pace and its somewhat clever use repetitive scene structure. We're given a series of alternate possibilities that spiral through chaos and confusion but in the end everything all works out peachy creamy so all our worrying and frantic blood pumping hearts are soothed and appeased.
Cheap, but effective. Manipulative to the extreme - but because it's managed in such an outrageously non-Hollywood style we feel we're seeing something new and something fresh.
...and it works.
The Princess and the Warrior follows much of the same formula, albeit without the pace and without most of the repetition. We're still subject to Tykwer's camera angles and trick photography, which regardless of the amount of praise they so often receive do nothing for the film save draw attention to themselves. This is an incredibly self conscious movie. Forget that and you're lost.
We're also still subject to the open manipulation, the shameless tugging of heart strings and the end desire to care for characters that we're given no rational reason to love.
...but we do love them. And we're not crazy for that either - we're simply in the hands of a magician who doesn't give a damn if we know all his tricks. This is the lasting impression The Princess and the Warrior and Tykwer's work in general manages to leave the viewer. It doesn't matter how informed or how knowledgeable or how blind or how jaded one happens to be towards film. You will still be impressed, you will still fall for all of his tricks, you will still love this movie.
This is what cinema is all about.
Go see this film.
German title: Der Krieger und die Kaiserin