You could spot this one from a thousand miles away, as soon as you saw the trailer. When a Princess Diana film was first announced, starring Naomi Watts no less, there was immediate Oscar talk. That’s what the industry loves to do – jump on Oscar speculation before the film’s even made. However, as word leaked that the script was cheesy and schlocky, there were murmurs that the film wouldn’t live up to the hype.
Alas, those rumors were proven correct when the film premiered this week to abysmal reviews. The film doesn’t focus on Princess Diana’s entire life, but rather has a very narrow focus on her romance with Hasnat Khan. As Diana purists know, most of the information from Diana’s relationship with Hasnat came from tell-all books written by ‘sources’ that were supposedly close to Diana. However, Hasnat has already slammed those books and the movie, claiming that they have their facts wrong.
In addition to that, criticism over the movie states that it’s very cheesy, derivative, slow-paced, and with a terrible central performance from Naomi Watts. A review from the Guardian was particularly harsh, with the reviewer writing, “I hesitate to use the term “car crash cinema”. But the awful truth is that, 16 years after that terrible day in 1997, she has died another awful death.”
The Times states that the film is ‘atrocious and intrusive’, and The Telegraph’s review stated, “Diana [as a film], bookended by a redundant piece of lurid sensationalism.”
I think a large part of the criticism centers around the fact that there was absolutely no need to tell this story, especially not right now. Diana’s death is still an incredibly touchy subject for both the public and the royal family, and to delve into such a private part of her life [that’s hardly even proven to be fact] is just exploitative and not what film should be about. In addition to that, it looks like the script, story, and acting were all ham-fisted. I’m guessing Watts agreed, but then realized what she was being asked to do and didn’t have the heart to do it.
What do you guys think? Let us know in the comments.