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The Princess And The Matchmaker

Opening Date
12 Apr 2018
PG13 Some Sexual References.
110 mins
Korean with English subtitles
Comedy, Romance
HONG Chang-pyo
SHIM Eun-kyung, LEE Seung-gi, KIM Sang-kyung, YEON Woo-jin, KANG Min-hyuk, CHOI Woo-shik, JO Bok-lae
In the wake of prolonged famine, the palace arranges Princess Songhwa (SHIM Eun-kyung)’s marriage in order to correct the misfortune. A renowned diviner, Seo Doyoon (LEE Seung-gi), is brought in to find the perfect husband that will have the best marital harmony with the princess. From candidates from all over the country, 4 prospective husbands with different fate signs are shortlisted.

However, the princess who refuses to accept that her life partner will be chosen solely based on fortune reading, decides to meet the candidates before the final decision is made. She steals the candidates’ birth information and sneaks out of the palace. Doyoon finds out about this later, and follows after her.
By Jason Lin  16 Apr 2018
Fans that have enjoyed countless Korean drama productions may still find The Princess and the Matchmaker relevant for the weekend based on what works for the genre.
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With the popular wave of Korean drama that is traveling successfully around the world, some might say that the country is very capable of producing romantic comedies even for the silver screen. Comes along Hong Chang-Pyo’s The Princess and the Matchmaker and one ponders the rationale behind all the overly-ambitious premise of the film.
It is the 1750s and a severe drought has made a King ponder if he should consult his constellation advisor on measures to appease the Heavens. Based on extremely elaborated art of constellation based on detailed analysis of elemental attributes that follow a person’s birth date and time, it somehow manages to convince the King (and perhaps some of the viewers) that two persons’ compatibility is predestined.
If only this is true where our Registry of Marriages would then easily instill pre-requisites and not worry about statistics of divorce, domestic violence and birth rate. Back to 1750s Korea, the King (Kim Sang-Kyung) is not worried about these and is determined to marry off his daughter Princess Songhwa (Shim Eun-Kyung) in hope of bringing rain to end the drought. To greater reflect his insecurities, he further employs the help of diviner Seo Do-yoon (Lee Seung-Gi).
Seasoned fans would know that the film is not about the above, but how Princess Songhwa finds and fights for her true love. Based on what the film’s intentions, it would be assessed on its ability to bring out the boy-meets-girl-and-slowly-find-themselves-thinking-about-nothing-but-each-other. This would then rely heavily on the lead actor and actress, who would likely be popular or compatible onscreen couples.
Otherwise, the film runs on an age-old story that is well too predictable. The only character that might bring about some spice in the film (for viewers who are not fans of the genre or the lead actors) will be the film’s jester Jo Bok-Rae.
If only the film made better use of its seemingly intriguing science of constellation analysis for revealing character’s inner self for some who-is-the-real-bad-guy mystery. Hong instead chooses the easy way out in many instances in the film and might not be suitable for filmmaking in the long run.
Despite the above opinion, fans that have enjoyed countless Korean drama productions may still find The Princess and the Matchmaker relevant for the weekend based on what works for the genre.
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