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Movie Review: Diana

Sunday, February 9, 2014

I have been dying to see Diana, so I was thrilled when I saw it was finally out on iTunes on Friday night. After all the critics panned it so badly, I was prepared for a really terrible hash, but I was so happily surprised. I thought it was quite good! There were the obligatory moments when they overplayed the romance. Naveen Andrews definitely stared deeply into Diana’s eyes a few times too many. We get it, you’re in love. The story was very narrow without much character development on screen. You had to bring along your own knowledge of Diana and the surrounding issues with you. It really was a very focused story. I would have liked to have seen more of her public life incorporated, but I guess we all know that drama.

The real Hasnat Khan gave a very damning interview on the movie. He claimed the entire movie is based on gossip. Since Diana is dead and Hasnat didn’t give any input on the movie, it stands to reason that much of the film would be based on conjecture. But, this movie does not claim to be a documentary. Movies are an art form and as such there is an element of interpretation and creative license as a filmmaker attempts to highlight and bring about his particular vision. Historical fiction, which can be an excellent tool to teach, operates on similar principles. Collect as many facts as are available, research your subjects to the best of your ability, and create a reasonable narrative.

Watts was the star! She overcame the obvious drawbacks--her age and her lack of Diana's stature--and she did an incredible job portraying the inner turmoil of the late Princess of Wales. Diana is and will continue to grow as an historical figure. Movies and books will be produced and written to tell the various aspects of her history. This movie may not have been word for word accurate, but Diana is dead. No one but Diana can be Diana. No one can play her perfectly, and frankly an entirely accurate blow by blow of their personal life is not necessary to make the point this movie made. She was in love with Khan, she was often conflicted and internally tormented in her personal life, surrounded by privilege, she was lonely and deprived. 

I thought it was good. I felt the isolation, unhappiness, and desperation raging in Diana despite her superstar exterior. I felt the claustrophobia created by the aggressive media attention, and ultimately was overwhelmed by the terrible finality of her death. This was a tribute to Diana, a part of her story that she deserved to have told. It gave me greater appreciation for the difficult life of the People's Princess. 


  1. I really liked this movie. I thought that the lack of height and so the loss of Diana's regal stature was a big deal, plus the age thing, but I thought they did a good job.

  2. I was avoiding this as it looks like a horrible cheese-fest, plus I'm not a fan of Watts in particular - but if it is actually decent and not just a melodramatic blur I guess I will give it a go as well!

    1. Well, it certainly had melodramatic moments. I did go in with low expectations. But, you know Diana had some really turbulent years, and I think it portrayed her internal pain pretty well. I thought it was worth the watch. I am going to be brave and stand by my assessment. Worth the watch, I liked it. :) (I am not a big fan of Watts, either, but I thought she did a good job on voice and mannerism.)

  3. The movie was okay, but I think that they could have done a much better job on her hair! Half the time it looked more like Camilla's hair than it did Diana's.

    1. I definitely agree with that. It was a little too...bouffant for Diana's sleeker style.

  4. I enjoyed it too! It was a bit too long and 'made for TV' like but it made me think about the choices we make in life.


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