Saturday, 22 March 2014

Diana Movie Review

Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel

UK Release Date: 20th September 2013

Running Time: 113 minutes 

Starring: Naomi Watts, Naveen Andrews, Cas Anvar, Geraldine James, Douglas Hodge

"Diana" is a film that was highly anticipated for one reason;  it is a movie about Diana, Princess of Wales who was tragically killed in France in 1998.  Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, "Diana" unfortunately does not do justice to the once most famous woman in the world. Despite this, the film still manages to deliver an emotional connection to the audience but even this can be attributed to the connection/remembrance to Diana herself, not the film.

The film portrays the latter years of Princess Diana's life, showing major events that occurred.  Having split from the Royal Family, Diana (Naomi Watts) looks for and finds her true love, Hasnat Khan (Naveen Andrews) a heart surgeon. They try to find a balance between their different lives and quite differing personalities. 

It was always going to be difficult for any director, cast and film to make a movie 'work' when it is going to be about Princess Diana.  Unfortunately, "Diana" is not a film that is a good portrayal of the final years of Diana's life or even a good film at all. Most things related to the film do not work or feel as if they fit it together in a way that allows the movie to flow.  It is jagged, empty and ultimately very disappointing.  

With this film, an opportunity was presented to make a very good film. However, the casting has to be questioned.  It is important to be clear here,  Naomi Watts is an good actress, however she does not present a good portrayal or representation of Diana. This is in all aspects.  Unless it is from distance, she does not look like Diana, neither does she sound like Diana.  Unfortunately, her mannerisms are not perfect and this makes the film feel unauthentic. This is nothing against Watts, but she was just not right for the role.  The portrayal and script also present Diana in a way that is not what we are accustomed to.  From watching the film you would think that Diana was  shallow. Hirschbiegel may be trying to over compensate her innocence but on the screen it does not come across this way. 

"Diana" generally feels odd.  The film starts slowly and rarely gets going.  It is interrupted throughout by too many scenes of silence which do not enable and storyline or plot to develop in a way that is watchable.  It rushes over important events nearer the end of her life and portrays her in a way that can only be described as degrading.  

The movie is definitely not what you wold expect before watching.  It does not inspire like a film about Diana should.  It is a poor attempt at making a film of the last few years of her life. The sole focus is on the relationships that defined her final years but even this is not done to great effect.  It is able to bring out an emotional response by the end of the film but this is limited.  "Diana" is unable to live up to the fame of the real person it portrays and turns out to be a very frustrating and discouraging movie.

M+F Rating: 4/10

Reviewed by M+F Reviews.

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