Pablo Larrain is one of the greatest directors of this time, and he is coming up with a movie about Diana. The story, however, might be a cause for concern, with the leading actress Kristen Stewart calling Diana manipulative.
- The legacy of Diana
- Pablo Larrain and Kirsten Stewart
- Was Kirsten wrong?
If you grew up in India in the 90s, Princess Diana would have held a certain kind of charm for you. The “Princess of the people”, as she was known, was adored worldwide and had people hanging on her every word. But, the story ended in heartbreak. A controversial car crash took the life of Princess Diana, leaving the road open for a host of conspiracy theories and rumours. Now, Pablo Larrain, acclaimed Chilean director, is telling the story of Diana again in a movie with Kirsten Stewart.
PRINCESS OF THE PEOPLE
When Diana married Prince Charles in 1981, “TIME” reported, “A splendid Prince, his beautiful Princess, a carriage, a crowd: fantasy come to life, a dream riding in stately progress through London. Except that this moment and the ones that came before and after were real, for all to observe”.
Royal marriages were oversized news items before that too. Queen Elizabeth II’s marriage had drawn thousands to the streets. But, this was different. It was a marriage that united a commoner with a prince, a fairytale story that became an instant hit.
While most royals lived a quiet life, media frenzy followed the young couple everywhere. When paparazzi took photos of a pregnant Diana in a bikini, the royal family became enraged at the journalists. However, this was the new norm. Princess Diana was the person who would propel the British royals to celebrity.
What set Diana apart was her commitment to charities. As the media frenzy drove on, she would participate in relief work, helping countless children and visiting an AIDS hospital. Even as the rage around the divorce wore on, Diana was seen helping people. People wanted to photograph her, and she would pass on that popularity to charities driving up their public profiles and making them profitable.
When a mysterious car crash killed Diana, her legacy lived on, and today people are retelling her stories.
PABLO LARRAIN AND KIRSTEN STEWART
When documenting a legacy as extensive as Princess Diana’s, care needs to be taken. Pablo Larrain, however, is not a caring man. He opened his biopic of Pablo Neruda with a scene of open debauchery with several men and women engaging in an orgy.
The movie was a dark critique of Neruda’s life, and it worked. Larrain has also worked on ‘Jackie’, a movie about John F. Kennedy’s wife, and ‘Tony Manero’, a portrait of Chile under Pinochet. With a diverse dark filmography, his movie ‘Spencer’, about Diana, will not be a cookie-cutter portrait either. The movie is going to feature Kirsten Stewart.
The Princess Diana movie’s actress Kristen Stewart was seen saying, “She’s somebody who, to me, in interviews, feels exceptionally manipulative … but then also opening herself up completely, and she’s so revealing, and she’s so vulnerable. She wears her heart on her sleeve like no other”.
The comment of “manipulative” has ticked off a lot of fans of Princess Diana, but was Stewart wrong?
Kristen Stewart disrespects Princess Diana but not on purpose. She is very vehement in insisting that the princess was a protective mother who would do anything to protect her kids. She was also one of the biggest celebrities in the era, with a following that can’t even be imagined.
Whether Kristen Stewart disrespects Princess Diana would depend on different factors. What she talks about in the interview is the Princess’ protective nature.
When you’re a celebrity on that scale, manipulation comes effortlessly to you. You need to manipulate the media so that you can have a semblance of everyday life. This is what she needed to do to protect young William and Harry from the continuous scrutiny of the press.
She was also working to save herself. She had been forced to make dark decisions to prevent people from digging into her personal life and destroying it.
Kristen Stewart has hit the hornet’s nest with her recent comments on Princess Diana. However, put in context, she praises Diana for being protective and an incredibly charismatic human being. With Pablo Larrain involved, the movie will go into darker themes, so her critique might also be a feature of the film itself.