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Diana
DianaThe ‘Peoples Princess’ died tragically
  in a car crash in a Parisian tunnel on
  31 August 1997, during which time she
  has never been forgotten; remembered
  not least in the many films of her life,
  including the story of her secret
  romance with a leading heart surgeon
  told in Diana..
.”

TWO YEARS BEFORE DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES, WAS KILLED in a car accident in Paris on that ill-fated journey from The Ritz Hotel, she and Prince Charles had finally separated and the young woman who was to have become a Queen began her life as a single woman.

Starring double Academy Award Nominee Naomi Watts (The Impossible; 21 Grams) in the title role, the intimate biopic Diana tells the previously untold story of the secret romance with eminent heart surgeon Dr Hasnat Khan (Naveen Andrews: Lost; The English Patient) that shaped her final years.

“Diana certainly has
curiosity value;
an interesting and tragic
film, if a little
lightweight, with some
welcome amusing
moments and a
sympathetic performance
from Naomi Watts...”
The film centres around Diana's search for true love and happiness and follows her journey as she seeks fulfilment in her life, beginning before she meets the man whom many see as being someone with whom she could have found that elusive contentment.

Following the announcement of the separation of the Prince and Princess of Wales, Diana goes her own way as much as she can and ignores the words of her advisors.

During this time, feeling rejected, she also agrees to a television interview with Martin Bashir (Prasanna Puwanarajah), in which she admits to self-harm and gives her version of her life with Charles. Even her close friend Sonia (Juliet Stevenson), who has been supportive of her, sees this as being an unwise move.

Diana turns to her spiritual mentor, acupuncturist Oonagh Shanley Toffolo (Geraldine James: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo; Sherlock Holmes 2009), who becomes a dear friend and confidante; and when Oonagh's husband Joseph (Michael Hadley) has a heart attack, Diana immediately goes to the hospital to comfort her.

Hasnat is treating Joseph and Diana is attracted to him, over a period of time instigating meetings and inviting him to her home at Kensington Palace where she cooks meals for him.

The most famous woman in the world is depicted as being desperately in love with Hasnat, frantically trying to find ways for them to be together. His family, as Pakistani Muslims, expect a traditional marriage for him and Diana would most likely also have faced opposition from the Royal Family as Hasnat was from a different country, culture and religion. It would also have implications for her beloved sons.

Diana travels to Pakistan to meet Hasnat's family, where she is accepted, albeit cautiously because of whom she is. Hasnat's loyalty to Diana is unquestionable, and he has never betrayed her trust as she felt others had.

Exploring the possibility of living abroad with the man who has captured her heart, Diana speaks to world-renowned surgeon Dr Christian Barnard (Michael Byrne) as she considers South Africa as an option.

But their relationship is not to be, and the disappointment of the doomed love affair apparently leads her to accept the hospitality of Dodi Al Fayed (Cas Anvar). On board his family yacht she courts the press, giving the impression of a contentment and happiness that one wonders if she really felt. It was to be her last attempt to find the joy she sought after the frustration of her failed marriage.

Despite apparently being indifferent towards his former wife, Prince Charles proved otherwise when he showed his respect for Diana by insisting on accompanying her body home from France. The outpouring of grief from the public was reflected in a sea of flowers to which Hasnat added his own tribute.

Adored by millions for her generosity, compassion and kindness, Diana immersed herself in the plight of those injured by land mines, embraced Aids sufferers, supported children and those who were troubled. She has left the legacy of her humanity, carried through her sons.

Diana certainly has curiosity value; an interesting and tragic film, if a little lightweight, with some welcome amusing moments and a sympathetic performance from Naomi Watts. One could suspect that Diana herself had a great sense of humour along with her gift for being able to single out a troubled soul. The film reflects the very human side of the People's Princess through her emotional life and her unstinting charitable works.

Diana also features: Art Malik as Samundar; Charles Edwards as Patrick Jephson; Douglas Hodge as Paul Burrell; Max Wrottesley as News of the World Photographer; and Christopher Birch as Ronnie Scott.

* Diana is released by Entertainment One on DVD and Blu-ray on 24 March 2014. Running Time DVD: 108 Minutes Approximately; Blu-ray: 112 Minutes Approximately | Catalogue Number DVD: MP1227D; Blu-ray: MP1227BR.

"Diana certainly has curiosity value; an interesting and tragic film, if a little lightweight, with some welcome amusing moments and a sympathetic performance from Naomi Watts"
Maggie Woods