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  • This docudrama about the last two months in the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, was far less exploitative than I expected it to be. It's an interesting mix of semi-fictionalized scripted scenes, actual news footage, and recent interviews with some of the principals present during the period portrayed, including Mohamed Al-Fayed and Dodi Al-Fayed's security guard Kez Wingfield. Much of Jenny Lecoat's teleplay is based on testimony found in the 800-page Paget Report, published in 2006 by the United Kingdom's Metropolitan Police Service following a four-year-long investigation, which helps give it an air of respectability. Genevieve O'Reilly neither closely resembles nor sounds much like Diana, but she manages to convey a sense of what life must have been like for an international celebrity constantly caught in the spotlight. We are left to question the veracity of certain scenes involving no surviving witnesses, but for the most part it's easy to accept this as a reasonably accurate account of the events portrayed. Director Richard Dale receives bonus points for mercifully sparing us a recreation of the actual crash.
  • I can still remember the summer when Diana died – I had stayed in halls of residence in England so that I could work through the summer. On the night in particular I was tired and had fallen asleep watching some video or other. It played until the middle of the morning when the tape stopped and normal TV returned at a higher volume. It was on BBC1 and the news told me that Princess Diana had been in a car crash; I watched for a bit and then fell back to sleep. By the time I woke up again she had died and a week of cultural significance began. Personally I did not take part in the week of very public mourning but I look back with interest on the week as part of changing how the UK acts as well as other aspects such as the modernising of the Monarchy and also the rise of Tony Blair's Labour Government.

    There are plenty of films that do a good job of looking back at this period – whether it is the personal aspect or the impact on the country as a whole, however this film is not one of them as it delivers a mix of sanitised melodrama and worthless talking heads contributions. The film doesn't provide any real insight or historical context to the story and indeed it is like seeing the basics played out for you. I speak as someone who doesn't read tabloids and never really had too much of an interest in her life of yachts, 5* hotels and so on but yet I managed to watch this without learning anything of significance that I didn't already know.

    So why was this made then, if it adds nothing? Well, the simple answer is that this is a cash-in on the anniversary of her death, feeding the masses who are still hungry for tattle about her. As a result it goes ahead with the minimum of effort and lots of "artistic" license to avoid any thoughtful investigation. The contributions are so-so, with nobody really having much to say of any real interest. The cast have nothing in the material to work with. Naturally O'Reilly is perfect and simpering throughout – albeit a lot less annoying that the real deal. Baladi is a solid presence and comes over a more of a person despite not having much either. The two bodyguards are the more convincing in terms of their performances.

    Overall then a typically cheap and exploitative docudrama on the death of Diana. It offers nothing new and, while it will probably satisfy those Daily Mail readers looking to get a bit weepy, it offered me nothing as a casual viewer.
  • STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning

    A TV docu-drama that tries to re-create the build-up to Diana's untimely death, from the beginning of her relationship with Dodi Al Fayed right up to her last night in Paris as she leaves the hotel for what will be her last journey, with contributions from those who became close to her as well as newspaper editors who were running the story at the time.

    With the tenth anniversary of her death just round the corner, we can expect Diana mania to hit us very soon, with plenty more sub-standard pap like this to be on our TV screens. Like many other people, I can remember where I was when I heard she'd died and can remember the furore the country got caught up in immediately afterwards, so it brings back memories to re-live it again like this. But that, it would seem, is all there is.

    This is just a cheaply put together television documentary, with no name actors playing the key roles, cheaply mixed with stock footage of Diana and all the numerous contributors who put their points forward. It's a long, sprawling affair, obviously just whipped out to cash in on the Diana frenzy that will be brewing up over the next month. People who are still obsessed with that kind of thing can take note of the endless books and articles that have been written about it, but, please, it would be nice if our TV screens had something more interesting on. *
  • Warning: Spoilers
    (4th Attempt IMDb:)An awful attempt at portraying probably one of the most important events of our era. A complete hodge podge of work,that deserves derision in parts. The bards playing all parts bar one,looked far too unrealistic and inaccurate: As for Ms O Reilly, Oh Really! Diana was clearly given further mis-justice. The show spent over 10% of its air time listening to Fleet Street/Canary Wharf hacks, B/S-ing about there part in it, further salt, in the already sore wounds. The saving grace of this show, was Patrick Baladi, "Oh my friends, this is a big star in the making". Reminded me, of a more mature and experienced 1970s George Lazenby: I hope Barbara Broccoli was watching?The show appeared rushed and hastily put together. The lack of a decent music score made this work dreary and unpalatable. In the end for this sad and sorry tale, far too much artistic licence was pasted here, which obviously fed the masses, for 120 minutes, during the highly meaningful 10th anniversary.