The premiere of ‘Diana’ took place in London’s Leicester Square on Thursday night. It’s the controversial film about the late Princess of Wales, who’s played by Naomi Watts, which follows the last two turbulent years of her life, including her secret romance with surgeon Hasnat Khan, played by Naveen Andrews.
But within hours of the premiere, a string of merciless reviews in the British press shattered the party spirit.
The Times praised Watts for doing “her level best with a squirmingly embarrassing script” but concluded that the film was still “atrocious and intrusive”.
“Poor Princess Diana,” wrote Guardian critic Peter Bradshaw.
“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 Daily Telegraph gave the film two stars — one more than both the Guardian and Times — but was also withering in its assessment.
Lead actress Naomi Watts was asked if the royal family had seen the film: “I am concerned, I had my concerns going into it which is why I hesitated, but the film is done, whether or not they see it I have no idea, if they do I hope they feel that we have been respectful and upheld her memories in the best possible way.”
Some critics have noted that Watts bears little physical resemblance to Diana: she had to wear a prosthetic nose for the film.
She is the only established movie star in the film. Andrews is best known for his role in the TV series “Lost” although he also played Juliette Binoche’s love interest in “The English Patient” 17 years ago.
‘Diana’ is directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel and is released in Europe between September 20 and December 13, 2013.