A fairytale with a twist | Daily News
Diana: The Musical

A fairytale with a twist

A fairytale formalized…

A nation mesmerized…

Fairytales are made in heaven. Princess Diana however was underestimated by the Royal clan. Thus her romance with Prince Charles eventually turned out to be a nightmare and a fairytale made in hell.

The great Royal wedding that took place in 1981 was watched enthusiastically by the whole world. A very young (or too young...?) Diana Spencer who was just 19 arrived in a carriage of brown mares to the cathedral to say, “I do…!” to Charles before a Royal gathering.

Nineteen and naive …

Shy and insecure …

Charles being a more mature intellect took her hand in front of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh and uttered, ‘Till death do us part’. Yet in years to come the world would witness princess Diana undergoing so much agony in married life and finally meeting with a fatal accident in Paris while travelling in a speeding car with her lover Dodi Fayed. It was romoured they were followed by the paparazzi.

‘Diana: The Musical’ made in 2020 and debuted on Netflix takes us down the memory lane to show crucial junctures in Di’s life. The film is directed by Christopher Ashley and Jeanna de Waal plays Diana. Charles is played by Roe Hartramph.

The screenplay and direction basically is made to tell the story from Diana’s perspective. Hence the melodious lines too are written to fit in with that theme. It’s like Diana telling her story in a nutshell.

“They minimize your thoughts…

They maximize your flaws…

Living rather large…

Yet feeling rather small…

Cause you’re under estimated…”, she sings.

Diana: The Musical mostly focusses on Diana’s lonely early marriage life spent watching prince Charles’s philandering with the married woman Camilla Parker, his first love. Camilla however is subtly projected as a wicked witch and Diana the innocent girl in the fairytale. Actually two females (Lovers) caught between a playboy lover would have been a better theme for this movie version.

Also the movie makes emphasis on the Lady Di’s combative relationship with the media and precisely the paparazzi. The press stalk Diana wherever she goes.

“Snap click…snap click…give us a quote…

Front page…front page you’re the lead…

We do a public service…

And we’re not vultures…”, say the paparazzi.

Prince Charles comes to Diana’s rescue. He says…,

“I’d guard you from that bloody mess…

Known as the British press…”, which never happens.

Prince Charles while enjoying his affair with Camilla fully expects Diana to remain faithful at any cost. The Queen tells Charles, Diana is of good English stock and he cannot marry a woman who is already married.

“A princess unprotected…

This is not what I expected…

Wounds heal but scars can last forever…

A heart bends…breaks and burst and sever…

A dangerous endeavor…”, cries a lonesome Diana.

Diana is forced towards having an intimate relationship with her riding instructor James Hewitt. The movie projects Hewitt as a playboy gigolo. The director uses Barbara Cartland, the romance novelist and Diana’s step-mother in real life as a narrator to introduce Hewitt to the viewers. The press calls this hunk, ‘The randy stable boy.’

The riding instructor tells his suggestive student, “All your troubles cast aside, You’ll dismount satisfied.”

Though this Broadway musical is nice to watch while feeling nostalgic, the movie seems very unfocussed. It doesn’t touch the core of Diana’s grieving life. The songs have a touch of ABBA and would remind someone of the movie ‘Mamma Mia.’

Jeanna De Waal adds less emotion to the character of Diana but portrays well the transition of Di from a shy girl to an outgoing people’s person. Her rival Camilla (Erin Devie) does justice to her role to showcase what is written in the screenplay. Roe Hartramph as Chares looks too young and immature, a man who is over dependent on his mother, the Queen.

Ending of the film is very touching. Diana plans her future and the song she sings tells it all. She says...she would go to America where there are no princesses. Then she hears the breaking news on TV. The news says…Princess Diana has met with a fatal accident in Paris. 


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