Movie Review: Diana (2013)

Naomi Watts, Diana

Princess Diana died in a car crash in 1997, and I remember being ten years old and watching her funeral procession on TV with my parents. She was loved by many, yet she also had secrets, and that's what Diana is about: her relationship with a heart surgeon, from 1995-97, whom many believed to be the love of her life.

Princess Diana (Naomi Watts) lives alone in Kensington Palace, with guards to keep her safe. She meets Dr. Hasnat Khan (Naveen Andrews) at a hospital when her masseuse's husband has a heart attack, and finds him intriguing. Their chance meeting starts an affair that will span two years, and leave both of them wondering if people from two such different nationalities, backgrounds, and experiences can fall in love - and not just fall in love, but make it work in the long run, too.

This film currently is holding at 8% on Rotten Tomatoes, which really surprises me. I'm sure that the movie took many liberties with Diana's actual life, but the acting in the film, especially by Watts, was great. I did some research into the actual Hasnat Khan - who is still alive - and, like the film portrays him, he's a very private person; I would think he would need to give consent for such a film to be made but according to interviews he's done, he does not condone the film (though he hasn't seen it), and says it's not accurate at all.

Which brings us to the question, can a movie still be entertaining even if it's not staying factual to its subject matter? (In this case, the subject matter is actually the 2001 novel Diana: Her Last Love, by Kate Snell)

The reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes seem to be saying no. However, I thought it was a well-done movie; my only complaint is that it seemed a bit drawn-out at times.

I'm giving this a Yes review, though, because I enjoyed the movie - overall, it kept my attention, and I learned some new things about Diana that I didn't know beforehand. How true these things are, I can't be sure; however, it presented Diana in an interesting light, and it's inspired me to do more research into her life and legacy.

Diana is currently playing in theaters, and is rated PG-13 with a runtime of 113 minutes. 3.5 stars out of 5.

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