Diana Blu-ray Review
Princess Diana was probably the most famous woman in the world when she died. Many things have been written about her that there’s quite a bit of clutter on her life. DIANA doesn’t break new ground. It just adds to the muck.
Naomi Watts was given the tough task of capturing Diana. I think she does a credible job in the role. It’s too bad the screenplay doesn’t do her any favors. If ever was a movie that seemed like it belonged on Lifetime, this would be it. To call it melodramatic is an insult to the word.
The story focuses on the last two years of her life. Diana was restless by this time. She was separated from Prince Charles and they were on their way to divorce. Diana was isolated and wanted purpose in her life. On her visit to a hospital, she has a meet-cute with Dr. Hasnat Khan (Naveen Andrews), a heart surgeon. She has an immediate attraction to him. She is quite cognizant of a relationship with him in regards to press coverage. Early on Diana is shown to be arguing with a paparazzo about the rules of engagement.
Their relationship starts slowly at first. On their first date, Hasnat goes in for a kiss and Diana turns her cheek to avoid this affection. Hasnat relays to her that he is a lover of jazz. Diana dives into the world of jazz like a school project. They keep this a secret for a while with various means of deception. Diana would don wigs, so they could go out to jazz clubs. She would switch cars with her butler and have midnight rendezvous in various parks around England.
At this time, Diana does find her voice with a cause. She travels abroad and sees the devastating aftereffects of landmines. She takes it on herself to get these outlawed. Her advocacy does take hold, but only after she had died.
Diana has many ups and downs with Hasnat. The secret gets out that they are seeing each other. Diana compounds the problem by denying it. This creates friction that pops up throughout the film. They break up and then get back together again. The Hasnat-Diana pairing is fascinating in many ways. Diana jumped into a marriage with Charles that she may not have been prepared for. It caused years of loneliness and isolation. Hasnat had created a life for himself in England by becoming a respected heart surgeon. Hasnat was a devout Muslim, while Diana was a Christian. Diana visited his family to get their approval, but that was never going to be the case. She was the wrong religion and a divorced woman to boot. Hasnat’s mother was never going to approve. The dialogue between these two in the film never goes beyond generalizations or anything meaningful though.
Discussion about the intrusive media could also have been explored, but it just pops up here and there. The camera work almost relishes in peeking behind the curtain. There is a long tracking shot that is shown a couple of times following Diana around. It is a bit uncomfortable to watch this and they also show the infamous elevator shot before Diana’s fateful drive. The movie also claims that Diana phoned a paparazzo to tell of her whereabouts with Dodi Fayed at the end of her life. There seems to be an implication that Diana may have contributed to her death with this act. I don’t know if this actually happened, but it still made me a tad uncomfortable with its meaning.
DIANA doesn’t do the subject it covers justice. It just wallows in the sleaziness that partially led to her death. That is a shame.
DIANA BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: The film comes across well in the transfer. The colors of Diana’s many outfits pop on screen
Audio: English accents can be tricky to understand and closed captioning is needed on this film.
Cast and Crew Interviews
Naomi Watts (Diana) (9:17): The actress discusses the story, the relationship between Diana and Hasnat, working with the director and what attracted her to the project.
Naveen Andrews (Dr. Hasnat Khan) (5:48): He talks about uncovering the relationship and how he didn’t know about it. Andrews also discusses the script, working with the director, playing this real life man and if his views of the Royal family have changed.
Douglas Hodge (Paul Burrell) (3:55): He discusses his role and the script. He also tells his thoughts on Diana’s isolation.
Charles Edwards (Patrick Jephson) (2:46): He talks about his role and working with Naomi Watts.
Oliver Hirschbiegel (Director) (8:46): He details the story, the love story and working with the two leads.
Robert Bernstein (Producer) (6:37): The producer talks about filming on location, recreating iconic scenes, the importance of the story and working with Naomi Watts
Kave Quinn (Production Designer) (3:24): She details her process and the challenges this film presented to her.
Julian Day (Costume Designer) (4:57): He also talks about his process, recreating Diana’s look and the importance of accessories.
Diana Fashion Booklet: 16-Page booklet detailing the fashions of Diana and how they recreated them.