Monday, December 11, 2006

Film The Queen (Stephen Frears, 2006)

Today we met a friend to see The Queen, a film about the English monarchy's insistence on privacy upon Princess Diana's death. The public is anxious to have a chance to share their grief and hear some words of consolation from their Queen but family strains and the divorce of Diana from Charles, Prince of Wales (Alex Jennings), as well as their historic sense of public decorum, keeps them from reacting to the unprecedented outpouring of grief. Newly elected Prime Minister Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) is portrayed as helping to alert the Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (well played by Helen Mirren) to the terrible disservice he sees the monarchy doing to its own position in public opinion in her silence.

It was a good film that was enjoyable to see. I can't judge its authenticity, but presumably is based on fact. The music, particularly the last piece, added to the film's pulse and tone.

In addition to the film's official site, you can also see its imdb entry. The film's trailer appears below.


Blogger redtown said...

The one character not developed in the film was Diana herself.  The "people's princess" remains the icon of superficial popular culture.  But the Royal family knew a very different Diana -- the one 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, she 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.

Wed Dec 20, 04:04:00 PM PST  
Blogger Dilip said...

Thanks for your detailed comment, redtown. I don't know much about the Royal Family or Princess Diana, but the tragedy of Diana's death was felt world-wide. I would be curious to know if you saw the film and, if so, what you thought of it. Thanks again for your input!

Thu Dec 21, 02:53:00 PM PST  
Blogger redtown said...

Yes, I saw it two weeks ago and will see it again after Christmas to further digest it. My initial reactions are that Helen Mirren is amazing, of course, and also that the film is fair to all sides of the conflict. I especially appreciated Tony Blaire's ringing praise of Her Majesty's selfless devotion to the service of her people for 50 years.

I suppose there's no way the film could have covered all of Diana's "problems" leading up to the accident -- that would take a whole film in itself. However, her many mental problems, as mentioned in my first post, is a huge part of the context of this story.

Thu Dec 21, 11:43:00 PM PST  

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