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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

Diana review: princess of whines

Diana red light Naomi Watts

Transforms the beloved “People’s Princess” into a drippy, unappealing rom-com heroine, sort of like Bridget Jones with bodyguards.
I’m “biast” (pro): loved Hirschbiegel’s Downfall

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

I have not read the source material

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

I’m no fan of the British royals, but if I were, I think I’d be fairly cheesed off that this wet blanket of a flick transforms the beloved Diana, Princess of Wales, into a drippy, unappealing rom-com heroine, sort of like Bridget Jones with bodyguards (whom she can’t stand cuz they just won’t let her be herself *stamps foot*). As a big fan of good storytelling, I absolutely am cheesed off that Diana cannot seem to decide what it’s aiming to do with the final few years of her life. If it wanted to show the world that the People’s Princess (Naomi Watts: Movie 43) was, in fact, a spoiled, manipulative, selfish brat who coos about her “boys” — that would be her sons, the young princes William and Harry — yet is way more wrapped up in her new boyfriend, heart surgeon Hasnat Khan (Naveen Andrews: The Brave One), when she isn’t canoodling around the Mediterranean with Dodi Fayed (Cas Anvar: Source Code) to make Khan jealous, then it’s off to a fairly good start. (Bonus points for implying, via how she sics the paparazzi on herself by telling a magazine editor where she’s hiding out, that Diana is perhaps responsible for her own death by egging on the press and using it for her own purposes.) But it’s plain that director Oliver Hirschbiegel (whom it’s now hard to believe also made the brutal Hitler-in-his-bunker drama Downfall) and screenwriter Stephen Jeffreys (The Libertine), working from the book Diana: Her Last Love by Kate Snell, think they’re just showing us that Diana was a sweet, regular gal caught up in events beyond her control who only wanted some romance in her life. I mean, gosh, she even cleaned Khan’s disgusting flat for him. As a present. So he’d like her again after an argument. Isn’t that what any girl in love would do?

Diana: Her Last Love by Kate Snell [Amazon U.S.] [Amazon Canada] [Amazon U.K.]

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Diana (2013)
US/Can release: Nov 1 2013
UK/Ire release: Sep 20 2013

Flick Filosopher Real Rating: rated RM: royal mess
MPAA: rated PG-13 for brief strong language, some sensuality and smoking
BBFC: rated 12A (contains strong language, brief land mine injury & surgical detail)

viewed in 2D
viewed at a public multiplex screening

official site | IMDb | trailer
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine | Rotten Tomatoes

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