Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Queen – The other side of the Diana story...


I have so much respect for Hollywood that I always keep thinking if they can get any better than what they already are. Then there it comes – a masterpiece, the untold story – “The Queen”. It told me straight in the face – “Dude, don’t think we can be stagnant for long. We’ll keep on improving.”

This movie is not for those who feel Hollywood is all about Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. It’s not for those who want to see Tom Cruise act his heart out in every scene, for his dialogues akin to those of Dharmendra in Bollywood (although much more softer and much deeper in meaning). It’s for those who like serious stuff. If you are not interested in the acting and the story, then it’s advisable not to see this movie.

“The Queen” reflects on the untold story, the story of the Queen and her handling Princess Diana’s untimely death. The movie deals with her side of the story, her emotions, her feelings and her actions. It shows how the media is becoming the singular force that is driving the society in the “modern” era. It shows how a lifetime of sacrifice can be undone in a week. It shows that there are two faces of celebrity life – the public face and the private face.

When Diana died in 1997, I was just a kid who did not know what had happened that carried so much importance in the media. I just knew that a certain individual named Diana had died in a crash with her boyfriend and that she was supposedly “The Princess of the People”. Like most others, I began to grieve at “the great loss” without even knowing what the loss was. I never knew Diana, just like many of the “grievers” who were “shocked” at her death.

As I grew older, I tried to gathers more facts on this case. Diana was not a Princess when she died. She was a girlfriend of Dodi Al Fayed Jr. So it was natural for the Royal Family not to make her death a public affair. After seeing the movie, I realized that Madam Elizabeth (I don’t know if I can refer to her that way) was also a grandmother when she not a Queen. She had to take care of her grandchildren and shield them from the “hungry media-personnel” in that time of crisis. So I support her decision. She may be “The People’s Queen” but she is also a family woman and in my view, family comes first.

I remember reading about the Queen in an article in Readers Digest a few years ago. It was a beautiful insight into her mysterious life, which is perceived as easy by many. As Peter Parker’s uncle said, “With great power comes great responsibility”. Her position carries immense weight and her life is not as rosy as one feels. She has been the queen for more than 50 years now and has discharged her duties well. England needs her and respects her. I feel that monarchy in England needs to continue. It may not hold much relevance in the modern world, but ht Royal family is a different thing for Great Britain. They need someone to look upto. They need the Queen.

Coming to the technical aspects, I really feel that the casting was the best that I have seen in my lifetime. The Queen looked like the real Queen; Tony Blair looked so real that I was almost sure that it was the real Blair. So was Cherie Blair. And Prince Philip was played by a person suited to play the role. I do not remember his name, but no one could have replaced him. Prince Charles was played by a person with little resemblance to the original specimen, but both has one thing in common – Both look like idiots!

A great movie! What made this movie more special was the fact that I saw this movie in the train while going to Delhi in the first-term end holidays. It was a great experience, sans the fact that the train was 3 hours late. Had it not been for “The Queen”, I would have freaked out for sure!

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