It may have been 16 years since her death, but we are still obsessed with Diana.
As the world watched Prince William and Kate Middleton begin their married life together, the media retained its fixation, comparing the wedding, the dress, the first family photo. Fashion icon, fundraising pioneer and the People’s Princess, Diana’s legacy is as strong as ever.
With this is mind it was inevitable that a Diana film would be made depicting the life of one of the most famous faces of our time. There were so many events that could have been told from Diana’s life, but this film only managed to capture a very specific part of her life – her post-Charles relationship with Pakistani heart surgeon Dr Hasnat Khan.
Diana and Khan’s whirlwind of a relationship was at the centre throughout. The film follows their struggle through Diana’s fame and the doubts from Khan’s family, as well as his dedication to his work.
In many ways, the film was really quite unrealistic. Firstly, the portrayal of Diana’s life didn’t seem entirely believable – almost as if she was a normal person living a normal life in London. While we would expect a royal to be surrounded by an entourage, Diana is often depicted alone.
In the film, Diana drove around alone in her little car, watched Casualty and Match of the Day, and even ended up in a London park at 3am. The film seemed to lack any insight into how the royals lived, or what it is like to deal with such fame.
One of the positives from the film was the highly talented performance from Naomi Watts, who actually made a very believable Princess. Watts captured the head tilting, doe-eyed gaze of Diana remarkably well, but Naveen Andrews, who played Khan, gave quite a mediocre, unexciting performance.
It was inenvitable that Diana, the film, would be made, but this portrayal doesn’t come close to satisfying the world’s curiosity with the Princess. No doubt Watts will take some of the flack for the film’s failings, but it is actually the subject matter, rather than the casting, that is more questionable. Seen as Dr Khan himself has publicly stated he will not be watching the film, we wonder whether Diana’s ‘secret life’ was perhaps better left to legend.
Diana is in cinemas Friday 20 September.
Running time: 113 minutes
By Talia Lapidus
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