Abduction Thriller ‘The Marsh King’s Daughter’ Drowns Its Interesting Premise in a Swamp of Predictability and Aimlessness

The Neil Burger thriller King Marsh’s daughter It is an adaptation of a book by Karen Dionne, who accordingly adapts a popular short story for children by Hans Christian Andersen.

Like Andersen’s story from 1858, in Dionne and Burger’s story the main character is the daughter of a monstrous figure known as the Marsh King and the woman he kidnaps. However, this modern version ditches any fantasy element for a crime mystery reminiscent of the true horror stories of kidnapped women and children born in captivity. He is Room together Where The Crawdads Singthen, with a pinch of it Tomb Raider.

Daisy Ridley and Brooklynn Prince play Helena, daughter of the titular Marsh King, born and raised by her recluse father (Ben Mendelsohn) in the desert of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (although it was filmed in Ontario, Canada). Unaware that her mother was kidnapped and held against her will for years, Helena develops a close relationship with her father and her off-the-grid ways and deeply respects her. The two are eventually separated and Helena, reintegrated into society, creates her own family, hiding the dark secret of her youth. When her father returns to her life, Helena has to deal with her two different lives and the conflicting feelings she has for the man who raised her.

Image via Lionsgate

Movie Burger, adapted for the screen by UltachMark L. Smith and Elle Smith, they never really find their tone, switching between family drama, horror suspense, and action in an uneven, uneven way that fails to have the potential of its core conflict.

Helena’s complicated relationship with her father and her childhood is repeatedly mentioned – as an adult, she loses touch with nature and claims to feel incomplete wherever she goes – but the film goes no further. than expected. Whether due to the writing or Ridley’s rather stiff performance, the approach to Helena’s traumatic experiences and various lifestyles is as deep as the waters of the swamp in which she was raised, pushing too hard on clichéd dialogue and melodrama. One particular kind of lighting is the actress’s subtle transition between elation and fear when she finally sees her father again, which gives more nuance in a split second than the rest of the added running time. together.

Despite all this, however, there is a clear and relevant attempt to move away from the focus on the father-daughter relationship that undoubtedly defines it – if not literally. King Marsh’s daughter – and give the main character’s relationship with her own baby daughter an immediate weight that isn’t entirely obvious but very much so. Their relationship is strained after he escapes from the father’s remote cabin in the woods, and the young girl hurts her mother for separating them. Growing up and becoming a mother herself, Helena reevaluates everything she thought about her mother and the complex ideas of strength vs. A weakness that her father’s upbringing instilled in her.

So much of her father’s persistence and trust in anyone but yourself managed to put yourself in the persona of Helena as a grown woman, and her mother’s relentless tenderness and vulnerability was the real strength. the face of violence. This ambiguous ending brings this emotional and psychological tug-of-war to a surprisingly thoughtful conclusion that almost makes up for the film’s easy cop-outs elsewhere.

Ben Mendelsohn stars in 'The Marsh King's Daughter'.
Image via Lionsgate

When it comes to the full thriller aspect, King Marsh’s daughter she provides a strong amount of tension during her second act, as Helena is almost overwhelmed by the prospect of her father re-entering the carefully guarded life she built despite life. The uneasiness and uncertainty that both the protagonist and the audience feel for a while is one of the most successful aspects of the film, but unfortunately it is cut short by a final stretch of awkward gunfights and unrealistic stunts that destroy not only the mood, but the emotional journey of his pioneering woman to simplify and his apartment.

If it had chosen to focus and complement any of its three main elements – drama, suspense, or action – instead of bundling all three without any real meat, King Marsh’s daughter it could be a moving, emotional, uncomfortable journey describing a young woman’s fight against a fate she did not choose. Instead, the result is a shallow attempt at suspense with nothing important to say, except when Helena’s stepfather tells her that her perverted father is abusing an indigenous culture he doesn’t really understand. Then again, that’s only five seconds of a nearly two-hour movie).


‘The Marsh King’s Daughter’ adds to the forgotten library of disjointed and underdeveloped action thrillers.

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