Despite the negative reviews this film has garnered, I still took a chance and purchased this DVD...and I'm very glad I did. As a longtime admirer of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, I was impressed by the great care given to her portrayal by actress Naomi Watts and the production crew. Clearly those involved with this film went to great lengths to ensure the last two years of Princess Diana's life, specifically her romance with Pakistani heart surgeon Hasnat Khan, were conveyed to show a post-HRH Diana as a world-famous yet ordinary woman who was vulnerable and longing to be loved. Inevitably, this attempt to balance both her public and private lives turned out to be impossible.
It appears Ms. Watts worked very hard on her body to match the gym-trim figure of the late Princess. It is also apparent that she studied Diana's stance, gestures, movements and voice to prepare for this role (no small task). The costumers, hairdressers and makeup artists deserve praise as well for their attempts to make Naomi Watts resemble Princess Diana as much as possible. The set designers, lighting crew, etc., are also to be commended for their efforts. As a result, I felt as though I were actually inside the Imperial Suite at the Paris Ritz during the film's opening and closing scenes as well as inside the majestic Kensington Palace.
Princess Diana met Dr. Hasnat Khan at a London hospital in 1995 during the former's visit to a friend. A relationship soon blossomed, and both went to extreme measures to keep their romance out of the spotlight, to include Diana donning a brown wig in public and Hasnat being hidden inside a car as it entered Kensington Palace. But the secret could not stay hidden forever, especially with the paparazzi hounding Diana's every move. The media pressure became too much for Hasnat, as depicted in this film, and the pair subsequently parted.
Naveen Andrews, who portrays Hasnat, delivered a charming performance as a down-to-earth doctor who, up until his romance with Diana was exposed, led a very private life, but simply could not handle being under the media microscope. The love and chemistry between the two characters were well-conveyed on screen, I felt, and both Naomi Watts and Naveen Andrews should be applauded for this. And when Mr. Andrews, as Hasnat, approached Kensington Palace to leave a bouquet of flowers after Diana's death, my heart sank just as his did.
The reality of the romance between Princess Diana and Dr. Khan is only known to them. Whether the events that transpired in this movie are truly for real is questionable; nevertheless, this doubt should not deter one from viewing this remarkable film. Memories of Diana, Princess of Wales, at one time the most famous woman in the world, are bound to resurface...to include, sadly, the worldwide heartbreak when she tragically passed away on 31 August 1997.