Princess of the Row is an emotional story about a young girl, Alicia Willis, Tayler Buck (“Annabelle: Creation”, “Clarence (TV)”), who’s sole focus in the world is her dad, Sgt. Beaumont “Bo” Willis, Edi Gathegi (“The Blacklist (TV)”, “Twilight”) who has suffered severe trauma as a soldier and now lives on the streets. More than anything the movie is about this tender relationship between father and daughter but it also casts a spotlight on homelessness, the side-effects of war and the power of love.
Tayler Buck is undoubtedly the hero of the film; her acting is wonderful throughout as she portrays difficult and complex emotions with sincerity and maturity beyond her years. Her stellar performance though shouldn’t detract from the efforts of Edi Gathegi because his role is a challenging one and one which he acts superbly.
Bo slips in and out of awareness and displays erratic so Gathegi’s ability to guide his character through these dramatic changes is worthy of applause because it’s just done so well.
There are some really touching scenes in Princess of the Row, scenes like Alicia and Bo Willis sitting on the floor of a diner but there are also some quite disturbing scenes which make for more uncomfortable viewing.
Van Maximilian Carlson (“The Troll (Short)”, “The Pinata Man”) (the director, also known as Max Carlson) has done well to capture some visually beautiful shots but some of the scenes feel quite long and tried a little too hard to pull on the heartstrings.
The pace of the movie is possibly a little slow and meandering but it does eventually draw to a touching conclusion: a thousand words couldn’t as beautifully express the emotions and thoughts played over Bo’s face in the final scene – it’s such an apt and touching way to bring it to a close.