Naomi Watts’ new royal biopic Diana has come under fire from movie critics in Britain, who have labelled the film “horrendous”, “cheerless” and “cheap”.
The British-born actress takes on the title role of Diana, Princess of Wales in the new picture, which premiered in the U.K. on Thursday night and shows the late royal in the last years of her life before her death in a car crash in Paris, France in 1997.
However, the film has received a slew of scathing reviews from Britain’s critics in the aftermath of the premiere, with many questioning the movie’s historical accuracy and even slamming the story as a “soap opera” re-imagining of the princess’ life.
Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave Diana just one star out of a possible five and heavily criticised the film, writing, “Poor Princess Diana. 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 movie isn’t so much Mills & Boon as a horrendous Fifty Shades of Grey with the S&M sex taken out – and replaced with paparazzi intrusion and misunderstood charity work… The moment anyone, anyone at all, opens their mouth we are in TV-movie-land, soap-land.”
The Daily Telegraph’s David Gritten concurs, singling out the movie’s references to the Paris car crash as a “redundant piece of lurid sensationalism”, adding of the film, “What’s the point of Diana? It’s hardly fascinating. It doesn’t offer new facts about the Princess’s life. And it certainly doesn’t explain her complexity or contradictions. That would take a different, better film altogether.”
David Edwards of the Daily Mirror adds, “Diana can only be described as a fabulously awful film. The Queen of Hearts has been recast as a sad-sack singleton that even Bridget Jones would cross the street to avoid… The film’s a cheap and cheerless effort… Director Oliver Hirschbiegel… should know better… Despite a peroxide hair-job, (Watts) looks, sounds and acts nothing like the Princess of Wales. Wesley Snipes in a blonde wig would be more convincing.”
Christopher Tookey of the Daily Mail also gave the film just one star out of five, branding it “tedious”, “slow” and “terribly, terribly dull”.
The film has also been criticized by the princess’ former lover Dr. Hasnat Khan, who is played by Lost star Naveen Andrews onscreen.
He insists the story is based on “hypotheses and gossip” and is “completely wrong”. (LR/WNWC/ZN)