Diana review: princess of whines

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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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Fri, Nov 01, 2013 10:03am

Maybe the backers were afraid of the Daily Mail and got Hirschbiegel to put in all the sappy stuff to deflect them?

DiPoW certainly seems to have thought she was the heroine of a fluffy romance novel. (Barbara Cartland was a big formative influence.)

Stephanie C.
Stephanie C.
reply to  RogerBW
Tue, Feb 11, 2014 4:07pm

‘The only books Diana ever read were mine,’ Dame Barbara later said, ‘and they weren’t awfully good for her.’