Diana director: Bad reviews are 'devastating'

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A British biopic detailing the last two years of Princess Diana's life, as told by her lifelong bodyguard Ken Wharfe. Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel and starring Naomi Watts as the title character, the film focuses on the Princess of Wales' relationships with heart surgeon Dr. Hasnat Khan (played by Naveen Andrews) and Dodi Fayed (Cas Anvar).
October 3rd, 2013

'Diana' director Oliver Hirschbiegel says the film's negative reviews are ''devastating''.

The filmmaker's biopic about the late Princess Diana, featuring Naomi Watts in the lead role, was savaged by critics upon its release in Britain last month, but Hirschbiegel feels the movie was more harshly judged in the late royal's native country than around the world.

He told BBC News the reaction was ''devastating, but when you make a film you don't think about the reactions.

''In all the other places where it's opened; in Poland, the Czech Republic, Turkey and Slovakia, it's been very strong. I think for the British, Diana is still a trauma they haven't come to terms with.''

Despite the critical setback, the director hopes cinema fans will ''make their own minds up'' about the film.

Hirschbiegel feels the British reaction to 'Diana' is ''déjà vu'', recalling the negative reaction his earlier film 'Downfall' - about Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler - received in Germany.

He added: ''I hope it is a matter of stepping back and looking at it afresh in a year or so, because it is a very British story and I am a very German director.''

He also finds Diana more complicated than Hitler, adding: ''[She] was the most complex character I have ever tried to depict - more complex than Hitler. The one thing they both had in common was they were born actors.''