Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
Want more? Listen to our discussion of 'The Black Prince' on SWITCHCast
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
Daniel shares one of his favourite Disney films, ‘The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad’, on a new episode of Ink & Paint!x
review, The Black Prince, The, Black, Prince, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Satinder Sartaaj, Jason Flemyng, Amanda Root, Shabana Azmi, Keith Duffy, David Essex, Rup Magon, Sophie Stevens, Kavi Raz, Drama, History film rating

THE BLACK PRINCE

★★

THE LAST MAHARAJA OF THE SIKH EMPIRE

THEATRICAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Charlie David Page
16th July 2017

Biographical films walk a fine line. Too much intimate detail, they are accused of being boring. Too much flair, they get accused of being reductive. Finding the balance for a biopic is a tough call - especially when you can't outright change the details of someone's life. 'The Black Prince' is the story of Duleep Singh, the last Maharaja of the Sikh Empire - so does it manage to keep its balance, or trip and fall from the high wire?

In 1843, after the death of his father, Duleep (Satinder Sartaaj, an Indian Punjabi singer and poet) became the Maharaja at the age of five, and ruler of one of the largest areas of India. After a takeover from the British, he was exiled to the United Kingdom, and raised by Dr John Login (Jason Flemyng, 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels', 'Gemma Bovery'), never far from the watchful eye of Queen Victoria (Amanda Root, 'The Iron Lady'). Over a decade later, he was reunited with his mother (Indian New Wave star Shabana Azmi), who gave him the courage to return as the Sikh leader, and Duleep began the perilous journey from Britain back to India to attempt to overthrow the British rule.

'THE BLACK PRINCE' TRAILER

With impeccable production values, this film looks stunning - there’s not a hair out of place on these historical figures - but that doesn’t save the film’s woeful script. Writer/director Kavi Raz has put a great emphasis on the aesthetics of the film, without having the foundation of a solid story to work from. We're thrust into this story, and given little to no context of the people involved, and less reason to empathise with them. All too often, we’re told what is happening or how people feel, rather than being shown. Trying to cram a man’s life into less than two hours proves challenging, as some moments drag on, while other plot points are glossed over or pass by in an almost incomprehensible manner.

The acting is also hit and miss - Satinder Sartaaj in the lead role doesn't have the experience or the strength to carry the film convincingly, and as such the story deviates away from him for extended periods to focus on other characters, such as Duleep's mother. Amanda Root makes a suitable Queen Victoria, playing her straight but not inhuman. Jason Flemyng tries his utmost with a relatively limited role, but scenes with Dr Login and other characters fall flat from lack equal expertise.

Trying to cram a man’s life into less than two hours proves challenging, as some moments drag on, while other plot points are glossed over.

There are a few saving graces - for those who don't know the story of Duleep Singh, it is an interesting one, and there are plenty of facts to be gleaned from the film; despite their tumultuous relationship, Queen Victoria was actually godmother to several of his children. The film also doesn't side with the British, and presents a much more balanced version of the occupation of India than is often seen in cinema.

'The Black Prince' is a film that, despite its good intentions to honour its protagonist, neglects its cohesiveness and entertainment value. In trying to preserve its accuracy for its subject, its flow is substantially disrupted, leaving a very segmented plot that plays like a bullet point list. While this is a valid attempt at portraying an interesting historical figure, it's missing the heart it so desperately needs.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 21/07/2017
RUN TIME: 1h 58m
CAST: Satinder Sartaaj
Jason Flemyng
Amanda Root
Shabana Azmi
Keith Duffy
David Essex
Rup Magon
Sophie Stevens
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Kavi Raz
www.theblackprince.com
TheBlackPrinceFilm
theblackpr1nce
theblackprincefilm
Want more? Listen to our discussion of 'The Black Prince' on SWITCHCast 
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Never Rarely Sometimes Always - The film every teenager needs to see
TRENDINGNEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYSThe film every teenager needs to see
xXx: Return Of Xander Cage - The good, the bad and the ugly
TRENDINGxXx: RETURN OF XANDER CAGEThe good, the bad and the ugly
Dolly Parton: 50 Years at the Opry - Celebrating the Queen of country music
TRENDINGWIN DOLLY PARTON: 50 YEARS AT THE OPRYCelebrating the Queen of country music
About A Boy - All grown up 15 years on
TRENDINGABOUT A BOYAll grown up 15 years on
The Violin Player - Sex and strings
TRENDINGTHE VIOLIN PLAYERSex and strings
The Pickup Game - A confronting reveal of the pickup industry
TRENDINGTHE PICKUP GAMEA confronting reveal of the pickup industry
Romantic Road - Falling in love with India, the Rolls Royce and each other
TRENDINGROMANTIC ROADFalling in love with India, the Rolls Royce and each other
After We Collided - Wattpad returns to the screen for slightly better, still dumb, results
TRENDINGAFTER WE COLLIDEDWattpad returns to the screen for slightly better, still dumb, results
25 Free-to-Watch Short Horror Films - The scariest shorts we uncovered online
TRENDING25 FREE-TO-WATCH SHORT HORROR FILMSThe scariest shorts we uncovered online
23 Walks - A story of dogs, walks and romance later in life
TRENDING23 WALKSA story of dogs, walks and romance later in life
Revisiting 'Dark City' 20 years later - The most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
TRENDINGREVISITING 'DARK CITY' 20 YEARS LATERThe most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
Pocahontas - 25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
TRENDINGPOCAHONTAS25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
Castle of Dreams - Fractured families and heart-stirring emotions
TRENDINGCASTLE OF DREAMSFractured families and heart-stirring emotions
The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale - An extremely silly zomedy
TRENDINGTHE ODD FAMILY: ZOMBIE ON SALEAn extremely silly zomedy
School of Seduction - Husband hunting in Russia
TRENDINGSCHOOL OF SEDUCTIONHusband hunting in Russia
In My Blood It Runs - An eye-opening tale of struggling Indigenous youth
TRENDINGIN MY BLOOD IT RUNSAn eye-opening tale of struggling Indigenous youth
The Land Before Time - 30th anniversary of a breathtaking animated masterpiece
TRENDINGTHE LAND BEFORE TIME30th anniversary of a breathtaking animated masterpiece
Wet Woman in the Wind - A sexy struggle for conquest
TRENDINGWET WOMAN IN THE WINDA sexy struggle for conquest
Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse - Fairly brainless
TRENDINGSCOUTS GUIDE TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSEFairly brainless
Gallipoli - A powerful and important film remembered
TRENDINGGALLIPOLIA powerful and important film remembered
© 2011 - 2020 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us