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‘Diana’ – film review

Screenshot of Diana

Photo courtesy of Entertainment One UK

Oliver Hirschbiegel’s film is a portrait of the relationship between Diana, Princess of Wales, and Hasnat Khan, a heart surgeon, which is said to have begun two years before her death in 1997.

British-born actress Naomi Watts takes the role of the iconic princess, despite looking nothing remotely like her, while Naveen Andrews, best known for his role in LOST, co-stars as Dr Hasnat Khan.

Bland

What do we really want from a film about an iconic princess – a truthful insight to her life or a guilty, gossipy celebrity fix? This film fails on both counts and is instead a romantic comedy (without much comedy) about a mostly uneventful affair.  We see a rather boring Diana flirt, stalk and pine like any other girl. It is as though the film is trying to be polite not to hurt anyone’s feelings. The problem is it’s so polite that it’s bland.

The film is so politely bland that in one scene an obviously angry and distressed Diana seeks solace not in screaming, shouting and breaking things but by furiously playing Bach on her grand piano and watching repeats of Casualty. Exciting stuff.

Shallow

Watts’s imitation of Diana at times comes across as shallow and spoilt, using Dodi as a rebound to hurt Hasnat Kahn and in one scene proclaiming ‘but I’m a princess’ to get her way.

Harry and William are only glimpsed once and Charles is barely mentioned or Buckingham Palace never seen.

However the film does give credit where credit is due for her charity work and her support of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines as well as highlighting her constant harassment by the press.

Diana is in cinemas now.

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