Tom Tykwer has become one of my favorite film directors and screenwriters. "The Princess and The Warrior" was an excellent film in all aspects: story, characterization, cinematography, score, actors' performances. I recommend it for those who believe in fate, a journey of personal and interpersonal growth of two people, whose lives are not merely convenient or coincidental. Tykwer knows how to tell stories with his cameras' views, how to keep you guessing (wrong many times), how to intrigue with sentiment and hope without being artificial or cloyingly cheap, how to intermix physical external reality with the surrrealness of a person's perceptions of reality.
The plot was intricately constructed, all scenes linked, all characters having a history and purpose. The characters, you care about them, you are invested in them. (One of my major complaints about the majority of US films.) It's often difficult to describe films like this, because you don't want to give away the plot, but even so, the film's message transcends a plot fulfillment. It has an epic feel, without being an epic, because the characters are transformed both within and outward, a magnitude of understanding transgressed, yet the plot moves briskly. Chaos and reconstruction, on all fronts, plenty of fodder for thought. For those who like to think, and those who enjoy a good "suspense drama," this was a wonderfully executed plan, a hybrid of "Run Lola Run" and "Heaven" in theme and style.
(P.S. might I facetiously add, the main guy has beautifully rich blue eyes, an intensity mixed with confused innocence, and the most absurdly hot life-saving maneuver I have ever seen in a movie.)
4 1/2 of 5 stars.