Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Diana Movie

Poor decisions and missed opportunities. To quote:
Diana, adapted from Kate Snell's book Diana - Her Last Love seems determined to tread the path of least resistance and chronicle the Princess' final two years without upsetting any of the other involved parties along the way. The central focus of the drama is not her divorce, her prickly relationship with the Royal Family, or even her liaison with Dodi Al Fayed and the long-lingering involvement of his father, Mohammed in the years following her death. The film doesn't even look into the questionable events of that fateful evening, let alone attempt to analyse the lasting after-effects it had on Great Britain and its people.

Instead, Diana is the story of a relatively innocent romance between a very private, professional and unassuming Pakistani heart surgeon, Haznat Khan (Naveen Andrews), who just happened to attract the attentions of the world's most famous woman during the most tumultuous period of her short life. The details of their courtship are pretty unspectacular, confined to late-night rendezvous in London parks or hospital waiting rooms, and the film tries desperately to play things out like a marginally less amusing version of Roger Michell's Notting Hill. She may be loved by millions, but she's still looking for real romance.

The big problem here is by largely sidestepping the major, publicised events in Diana's life, the film is forced to make things up. Nothing outrageous, simply the conversations, the courtship and the excruciating pillow talk between a straightlaced surgeon and a hell-on-wheels celebrity trying desperately to be perceived as a normal person. The result is a series of mundane, trivial and stupefyingly redundant exchanges that not only reduce the characters to lobotomised sock puppets but make you question the integrity of Andrews and Naomi Watts, two top class performers who almost always deliver first rate work and really should know better. (Read more.)

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