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A Prince (2024) — Movie Review

Immersing viewers in a world teeming with lush greenery, Pierre Creton's "A Prince" introduces its protagonist as a gardener’s apprentice obsessed with taming and enriching the wilderness surrounding him. Alongside this, he grapples internally with an underlying erotic attraction toward various older men he encounters. Primarily driven by a disembodied voiceover narration, "A Prince" weaves a complex narrative about hidden and self-confessed stories. Creton paints the French countryside as a haven of untamed desires, albeit presented in an intellectual manner.

The film revolves around two characters, Kutta and Pierre-Joseph, influencing and featuring in one another's lives in curious ways. Kutta, despite being mentioned as the heartbeat of the story, is not revealed until late in the film. Conversely, Pierre-Joseph, an introvert by traits, stands as the anchor of this intriguing tale. Audiences journey alongside these characters through stories narrated by the characters themselves and supporting cast, leaving much to the imagination.

Throughout, contrasting scenes of visual elements and their accompanying narration are intentional, aiming to provide an insight into these personalities' interior lives. This divergence is strikingly depicted through Pierre-Joseph - he appears as a subdued wallflower on the exterior while his inward self yearns for intimacy with older men. Erotic sensibilities subtly permeate his every experience and interaction, like a hidden current below the surface.

A Prince (2024) — Movie Review

As the narrative progresses, Pierre-Joseph forges bonds with two older men they work on a botany film with. Amid the calm moments and dedicated work, an unexpected meeting with Kutta throws the story off balance. The ensnaring plot raises questions about these men's past and future, marking a surprising shift in the hitherto grounded narrative.

The appeal of "A Prince" lies not just in its lush visuals and clever structure, but also in the way it treats its source material's narrative unpredictability. Creton seems to purposefully allow the narrative seams to show, resulting in a film brimming with jarring story leaps and insightful narrated fragments. The movie encourages audiences to appreciate the story much like the art of horticulture it celebrates - they're both themes that require patience, keen observation, and an understanding of the natural world.

While the narrative might appear inconsistent, the rough edges could be perceived as intentional gaps, set by Creton to challenge his audience to explore an unfamiliar story structure and a different cinematic world.