...engaging and discerning culture, as a way of life...

December 18, 2006

The Queen - 7

In August of 1997, the former Princess of Wales, Diana was killed in a car crash while being chased by photographers. Unless you were in a cave that isn't news to you. What this film does is tell the story from the perspective of the British royal family (it is about them, not put out by them), specifically Queen Elizabeth II's restrained initial response, and Prime Minister Tony Blair's persuasive stance for changing times. While this is a fictional account (made weirder by the fact that most of the people in the film are still alive and well), it is a well made character study of how different people respond to traumatic events, and the context that precedes and follows them. It is a complex film that is engaging and human (not trying to forward a conspiracy theory or make anyone out to be pure evil). By the end of the film you are both sympathetic to the royal family as well as wonder what their role should be in the 21st century. Helen Mirren and Michael Sheen give great performances in this Peter Morgan (The Last King of Scotland) script.

1 comment:

redtown said...

The one character not developed in this film is that of Diana herself. The "people's princess" remains the icon of superficial popular culture.  But the Royal family knew a very different, darker character behind the facades of glamour and pseudo-compassion.

Both Diana and her brother, Charles Spencer, suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder caused by their mother's abandoning them as young children.  A google search reveals that Diana is considered a case study in BPD by mental health professionals.

For Charles Spencer, BPD meant insatiable sexual promiscuity (his wife was divorcing him at the time of Diana's death). For Diana, BPD meant intense insecurity and insatiable need for attention and affection which even the best husband could never fulfill. 

Clinically, it's clear that the Royal family did not cause her "problems". Rather, Diana brought her multiple issues into the marriage, and the Royal family was hapless to deal with them.

Her illness, untreated, sowed the seeds of her fast and unstable lifestyle, and sadly, her tragic fate.