Movie date: Diana

Movie date: Diana
Stills from the movie Diana starring Naomi Watts, Naveen Andrews.

STARRING: Naomi Watts, Naveen Andrews, Geraldine James, Cas Anvar

DIRECTOR: Oliver Hirschbiegel

THE SKINNY: In the last two years of her life, the People's Princess Diana (Watts) strikes up a romance with Pakistani doctor Hasnat Khan (Andrews). The media spotlight proves too glaring for him, causing problems in the relationship and forcing Diana to eventually run into the arms of the flamboyant Dodi Fayed (Anvar).

RATING: PG13

THE CONSENSUS: The late Princess Diana may be celebrated for her work and life, but this biopic does the exact opposite. Couples looking for a believable love story should look elsewhere, too.

MARS

The better television gets, the more movies must distinguish themselves. If a movie looks like a TV show, then why bother paying the price of admission? Unfortunately, Diana is one of those films that fails to justify a big-screen release.

It is fantastically mediocre, like a made-for-TV movie on some underachieving women's network - no style and precious little drama. The eccentric and electric Watts is horribly miscast as the demure Princess.

I don't expect her to do an impression, but she fails to even capture the vibe. Even the hair is wrong. Wasn't Diana's hair always perfect? That was like her THING, right?

What is worse, Diana's romance with Hasnat is not at all engaging. She apparently digs him because he is a brain surgeon, but frankly I do not get it. He is a stiff.

The basic problem with the film is that it is much too sober in its approach to this "true story". I do not want verity, but fire.

Diana had a larger-than life existence - married a prince, became the most famous woman in the world, died tragically young - and yet here she is just so boring. I would take the Disney Princesses over this Princess any day.

jjohnson@sph.com.sg

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