The Royal Treatment: What Does The Trailer Promise?

The Royal Treatment: What Does The Trailer Promise?

About the Film:

The Royal Treatment, set to be released worldwide on Netflix on the 20th of January 2022, written by Holly Hester, promises to take us into the landscape of the pleasant battlefield of one’s heart, contradicting their conscience. The Rick Jacobson directorial stars promising actors such as Mena Massoud of Disney’s Aladdin (2019) fame and Laura Marano, who has been associated with films, music, and entertainment since for a long time, with award-winning projects like The Perfect Date (2019) and A sort of Homecoming (2015) in her bag, including a talented supporting entourage comprising of names such as Jen Van Epps, Chelsie Preston Crayford, Jacque Drew, Cameron Rhodes, and others. 

The drama, mostly set in Dunedin, New Zealand, revolves around the lives of Isabella (Laura Marano), an independent and flamboyant hairdresser based in New York, and Prince Thomas (Mena Massoud), as the name suggests, a dutiful and polite young prince who has been living his life behind the golden bars of Royalty. As the trailer progresses, we get to see an innocent amalgamation of emotions and realisations as their lives get entangled when Isabella and her fellow stylists are invited to the province of Lavania (the place the film is set in) to do hairstyling for the royal wedding. Soon, she tends to become the torch to Thomas’ way towards his true desires and heartfelt emotions while discovering a brand new passionate and sensitive side of herself, apart from the wonderous workaholic that she has been portrayed as in the beginning.

The overview:

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Netflix has been emerging as one of the leading online distributors in the past years and has not really failed in impressing several kinds of audiences with a plethora of original projects under its banner. 

The Royal Treatment, in my opinion, shall be no different when it comes to catering to people’s voracious capacities for art consumption. The trailer promises feel-good emotions and a large-scale production landscape that would be a treat to the eye and offer warmth in terms of emotional relief in the winter months. The film could cater to all kinds of viewers, either as a full-fledged experience or a guilty pleasure (because come on, we all have our days, don’t we?)

 The lush green quiet of Lavania and fleeting hustle of New York draw a straight contrast between the lives and personalities of the two protagonists and as the narrative flows, we shall probably dwell in the realms of how faint these contrasts can be and how life always gives one reasons to blur any unnecessary limits that society, expectations or even they themselves put into order. We might witness the arid conscience of a dutiful Prince fall prey to the wildfires of his caged heart as a charming and determined hairdresser crosses his path while discovering her own suppressed emotions of sensitivity and softness.

As I wrap up the good parts though, I cannot but help mentioning the cons. No matter how differently it is set, the film seems predictable, and the narrative borrowed. I guess this might just be another futile attempt at the diplomatic concept of role reversal, where a strong, driven female lead comes face to face with an emotionally suppressed, successful man and teaches him the thrills of speaking his mind and following his own heart. In 2022, the chippy attempt to  depict a woman as the subtle dragon slayer does not really sit very well with me as a viewer and film enthusiast (with due respect to anyone who might be damning me in their mind as a torchbearer of inequality, which, I swear by Merlin’s beard, I am not!)

As far as the characters are concerned, apart from having a predictable arc, they also come off as a little too familiar and acceptably unreal. The actors, in my opinion, might have been subject to typecasting as we see Mena Massoud, after a long struggle against the same typecasting, due to his Disney live-action debut, playing a Prince in the film. 

As I watched the trailer, I could draw comparisons regarding the uncanny similarity of characters, such as strong and vocal Royal family, quirky friends in an unfamiliar grand setting, and a funny troupe of Royal Guards remind me of The Princess Diaries (2001); the film makes me recollect traces of films such as the 2015 Cinderella live-action, which follows almost an identical intellectual structure when it comes to the inner worlds and character arcs of the protagonists. 

The trailer does not promise an extraordinary experience. However, the film might not fail to deliver what it promises and although familiar, the plot might have some unique ways of beautiful and warm presentation under its veil. I think the film has the potential to adorn one’s cozy January evening and do justifiably well as a typical and simple romantic comedy.

Watch the trailer here.

Author’s Biographical Note: Sahana is an aspiring writer and cinema enthusiast. She is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in cinematic arts from the Asian Academy of Film and Television. She is an avid reader and has been writing poetry and fiction since long. She is passionate about literature and entertainment and hopes to share a little view of her perspective with the world. She is currently associated with Explore Screen: The Cognitive Dialogue as an intern.

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