Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Movie Review ... Diana


Diana_keyart.inddTruth is always stranger than fiction with cinema often walking between both.  Whilst some fantastic documentaries have been seen, biographical works are more problematic.  Assumptions are made about the subject with their actions open to speculation.  One can never truly know how someone felt at any given time which is something the makers of ‘Diana’ ignore.  Although superficially interesting, it’s a glossy account of her final years more akin to something found in the many magazines she graced.

After her divorce from Prince Charles, Princess Diana (Naomi Watts) continued making headlines.  Her movements were continually scrutinised with her love-life providing much innuendo.  In particular her relationships with heart surgeon Hasnat Khan (Naveen Andrews) and Dodi Fayed (Cas Anvar) made headlines. Their lives would be impacted forever on a fateful night in Paris.

Already causing controversy ‘Diana’ ultimately is an ordinary film.  Whilst it charts an extraordinary life, the way it handles her existence continually falters.  Adhering to a repetitious and formulaic ‘boy gets girl/loses girl’ motif the script never really obtains a handle on Diana’s persona.  She was such an emotional enigma that one could forgive the film-makers for their guess-work.  Unfortunately their efforts result in a pedestrian romantic drama having the feel of a tawdry soap opera.

Watts anchors ‘Diana’ with a dignified poise it almost doesn’t deserve.  Commendably it isn’t afraid showing her talent in media manipulation and doesn’t portray her as a saint.  This aspect and the examination of the crushing weight of her celebrity status provide ‘Diana’ with most of its interest.  It’s a rather sad portrait of a desperate woman and one by which perhaps she wouldn’t have wanted to be remembered.

‘Diana’ occasionally feels like a feeble plod through her latter scandal-plagued life.  Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery although this unflattering visage only skims the surface of a complex and unenviable life.


Movie Review Rating out of 10:  5

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

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