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Old 10-06-2013, 07:39 PM
ashdoc ashdoc is offline
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Default Ashdoc's movie review---Diana

I have always been fascinated by royals---by Indian maharajas and maharanis and Nawabs and begums and Badshahs and Shehenshahs and foreign Kings and queens and princes and princesses . Whenever I travel I have mostly heritage holidays---of magnificent palaces and mighty forts which hide many a story of triumphs and tragedies and battles and intrigues and conspiracies .

.....So whatever the press was saying about it ( the film has got terrible reviews ) I was hardly going to miss out on seeing a film on Diana---the beautiful and tragic princess .

The title of the film is ' Diana '---a grandiose title that makes one think that it is a biographical film about the entire life of the princess .

Actually it is about the affairs she had after she discovered ( actually long after she discovered ) that her husband loved another woman and she wouldn't be able to receive his love ever . More specifically , it is about her affair with a Pakistani born heart surgeon---Dr Hasnat Khan . It purports to show Hasnat as the true love of her life ; a person she not only loved but also wanted to marry to the extent that she actually traveled to Lahore in Pakistan to meet his family and more specifically his mother in order to get their approval for the marriage .

Obviously , this is a downgradation and the film about Diana is reduced to a film on her love affairs.

Aha !! Now I can understand what caught the critics' goat---especially the British ones....and very rightly too...

Coming to the film itself , it shows Diana as a woman who is in search of true love ( if you permit me to use a cliche ) , and wants a man who is entirely hers without any hindrances .

Is Hasnat Khan that man ??

Knowing south asian and more specifically muslim culture all too well , I can safely say that he isn't....
Not only his religion is uncompromisingly different , but it's not easy in south asia to accept a mother of two sons as the bride of a bachelor.
Even worse , his mother remembers the horror of Pakistan's partition from India ( one million people were killed in a bloodbath during partition ) and blames the departing British rulers for it---Diana's people....

Yet Diana is blissfully unaware of all this in the beginning , and she is the one who initiates the affair . And it leads to secret rendezvous in misty hills and incognito ( with Diana wearing a black wig ) meetings in romantic cafes . And naturally , to passionate sessions on silken sheets....

And Diana is in love....
Your heart does go out to the beautiful princess whose husband rejected her love and left her searching for it....

She even uses her connections to get Hasnat a job in Boston in America so that together they would escape to build a love nest there....
There are tiffs and quarrels between the two and each time Hasnat tries to break off , Diana is the one who makes up with him to the extent of chasing him and standing below his apartment calling out his name like an ordinary woman and then cleaning his apartment like one !!
Man....did this stunningly beautiful and ( most importantly ) rich woman actually do this for a guy ?? Can't believe....

But can a heart surgeon concentrate on his task if he is constantly surrounded by paparazzi and is constantly being photographed ?? No....

Like all good things , the affair has to come to an end....

Amidst all this , where are her husband and children ??
The director makes the horrendous mistake of showing them all too briefly , and concentrate only on her affairs .

However when the affair with Hasnat breaks , you do feel for Diana and acting by Naomi Watts in the breakup scene does produce an effect on you .

The affair with Egyptian Dodi Al Fayed is shown to be on the rebound , and by this time Diana has learnt to use the press and photographers to her advantage . Diana is not shown to be too emotionally attached to him . Is this a deliberate ploy to make Hasnat ( played by Naveen Andrews ) appear as the ' hero ' of the film ?? I dont know.....

To be politically incorrect , one does wonder about her choice of muslim men rather than men from her own culture .

But it all ends in a car crash which is not shown ( mercifully ) and like Dr Hasnat Khan we are all left with her memories.....

To be honest I was filled with pathos at the end , and when I feel this way I can't say that a movie is bad....

Verdict---Not bad .
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