Telling the stories of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, NZ and Polynesia

The princess who fell in the dark

Intimate glimpses of a pampered princess who could never be herself.

Peter Veugelaers  |  12 Mar 2014

Diana (2013)

DVD recently released. Rated M contains offensive language. From a book by Kate Snell. Directed by Oliver Hirshbiegel (Downfall, The Invasion).

Diana conveys some spiritually intimate moments of the former Princess of Wales.

Princess Diana (Naomi Watts), while pampered with a massage from her spiritual adviser, reveals a dream she had.

She is falling in the dark and no one is catching her. No one is there.

This ‘lost-ness’ comes through in other ways.

Getting thrust into public life with its royal formalities and etiquette is at odds with her girl-next-door style.

The scene of her giggling and dancing in a nightclub while keeping her love life secret reveals her public-private confusion the most.

Diana is not a role-player but has to play one.

Her well-regulated African trips combating landmines and speaking at charity lunches are more than a persona, though.

Her instinct was to give of herself, and yet something is still missing.

Her love life appeared to have a spiritual connection to her lover, Hasnat Kahn (Naveen Andrews) – a romance that happens two years before Dodi Fayed and the accident that claimed her life.

But that romance isn’t a bed of roses.

The movie’s heart and soul is that she craves love and acceptance, but seems to have never got it despite her privileges.

Irrespectively, the romantic overtures are titillating, and Naomi Watts gets the shade and nuances of the Princess of Wales half-right.

 I enjoyed “Diana”, though, and I empathized with the princess as portrayed here.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

Peter Veugelaers writes poetry, stories, devotionals, and non-fiction, as well as reviews