Movie review: ‘Diana’ (M) ***


Naomi Watts in the role of Diana.

Naomi Watts in the role of Diana.

BRITISH and other media have not been kind about Oliver Hirschbiegel’s biopic traversing Princess Diana’s romantic relationship with Pakistani heart surgeon Hasnat Khan (Naveen Andrews).

Playwright Stephen Jeffries’ adaptation of Kate Snell’s 2000 book “Diana: Her Last Love”, a tie-in to a TV documentary, tries to explain Diana’s transition from royal cossetting into a woman needing to survive independently without basic skills for domestic survival or negotiating media and paparazzi feeding frenzies.

The result is a poignant portrait of a woman lacking guile or malice.

What she was good at was giving love to disadvantaged people.

The film’s emotional energy comes from her clandestine love of a man from a different culture committed to following his own agenda. Its crisis arose from her innocent enough attempt to relocate that agenda across the Atlantic without asking him if he wanted to.

Naomi Watts’ warts-and-all portrayal tells Diana’s story with affection and respect. Jeffries and Hirschbiegel’s purpose is clearly to clarify the record about private aspects of a woman who wanted them to remain private and leave it to filmgoers to judge how well they succeeded.

At all cinemas


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