Princesas DVD Review
by Kam Williams
DVD Drama Set in Madrid Shows It's Hard out Here for a Ho, Too
Zulema (Micaela Nevarez) is a striking streetwalker who cruises the low-rent district of Madrid, strutting her stuff in skimpy outfits. The attractive, illegal immigrant would really rather pursue a less dangerous line of work, given the physically-abusive johns she encounters and the risk of sexually-transmitted diseases. But because she has a mother and five year-old son back home in the Dominican Republic dependent on her for financial support, she perseveres in a profession likely to eat up her future before long.
Caye (Candela Pena), by contrast, is a high-class hooker who operates out of a bordello which masquerades as a beauty salon. The pair's paths cross the day Zulema is badly battered by a client and Cave compassionately accompanies her to the hospital. Thus begins the forging of an intimate, if initially awkward friendship borne as much of desperation as of a mutual need for a shoulder to lean on.
Princesas is a super-realistic character study which fully fleshes out (pardon the expression) these very engaging protagonists to reveal, ever so sympathetically, a couple of sensitive souls in simpatico with far more in common than either would like to admit. Without ever resorting to stereotypes, this unabashedly feminist flick paints an ultimately optimistic picture of the prospects of these would-be princesses, still little girls at heart, who have somehow landed in a seemingly hopeless predicament.
For instead of waiting for proverbial knights in shining armor who will never come, Cave and Zulema feed each other's dreams of a better day, as they gradually extract themselves from the enveloping quicksand of the suicidal sex trade. Packing body cavities with semen instead of cocaine, Princesas provides the most engaging presentation from the perspective of an exploited, female underclass since the equally-evocative Maria, Full of Grace.
Hail Mary, full of DNA.
Excellent (4 stars)
In Spanish with subtitles
Running time: 109 minutes
Studio: Genius Productions
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