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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Joker
...
Kid
...
Ling (as Sin Ji Lee)
...
Joker's Father
Pat Ha ...
Ling's Mother
Yik Lam Wong ...
Sam
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yuan Chen
Tsung-Sheng Lee ...
Ling's father (as Jonathan Lee)
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Genres:

Romance | Sci-Fi

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Release Date:

12 April 2002 (Taiwan)  »

Also Known As:

Princess D  »

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User Reviews

A romance with sharp edges
25 June 2002 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

Joker, a computer game designer, falls in love with Ling, the bartender on whom he's modeling Princess D, the cyber heroine in his latest digital adventure. Initially bemused by the designer's interest in her, Ling is gradually drawn towards the fantasy world created by Joker for his game as a welcome relief from the grim reality of her dysfunctional family.

In portraying that grim reality, the film stands apart from traditional romances, but is careful to avoid becoming distastefully sordid. Ling sells drugs at the disco where she works, but does so only to free her younger brother from debt to a gangster. Her father is a criminal, but treats his distracted wife with sensitivity and tenderness during her visits to his prison. Her mother's distraction doesn't prevent her from unexpectedly saving her daughter from arrest.

The grimness is also alleviated by flashes of whimsy and humour. When a fly is swatted, a transparent ghost fly emerges from its crushed body and buzzes away. An ICQ exchange is portrayed by superimposing the participants' messages like subtitles, and ends with a cartoon emerging from the computer screen to blow a raspberry. An infatuated girl signals her feelings by presenting the object of her affection with a navel ring.

Helping to sell the unusual cocktail is an appealing cast of young and personable actors with good support from such veterans as Pat Ha (after a 10-year absence from movies) and Anthony Wong (who's never looked more trim and graceful).

Visually, the film adopts whatever style best suits each scene's needs, but without ever seeming derivative. The more edgy and frenetic scenes are particularly impressive when you consider the quite traditional previous work of director Sylvia Chang and cinematographer Pin Bing Lee.

The complex characters, dark back-story and whimsical touches combine to make PRINCESS D an engaging and original contribution to the romance genre.


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