THE MARSH KING'S DAUGHTER
Starring: Daisy Ridley, Ben Mendelsohn, Brooklynn Prince, Gil Birmingham, Caren Pistorius, Garrett Hedlund, and Joey Carson
Director: Neil Burger
The Marsh King’s Daughter is the ultimate tease as a psychological thriller, taking you right up to the point of exhilaration without actually coming through. The initial act sets things up nicely, but what follows is a boring slog that is further hindered by some confusing choices in flashback- and action-sequence camerawork. Daisy Ridley and Ben Mendelsohn are fantastic, though, and, as a film, this may have been the rare case where taking some creative license from the novel on which it is based might have added some pop to a story with an underlying premise that really had potential.
Though it does nothing groundbreaking or anything particularly memorable, The Marsh King’s Daughter remains just engaging enough to function as a nice rainy-day distraction. Honestly, it feels a lot like a movie Ashley Judd would have starred in 20 years ago. That said, after an unexpected twist early on, it doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be, with some scenes feeling like they belong in a slasher movie while others are more family drama. Still, it all mostly comes together decently (even if it is predictable), and the performances are solid, especially Ben Mendelsohn. All in all, it was worth the watch.