‘Spencer’ reignites the public’s love for Princess Diana

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Pablo Larrain

Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana in “Spencer.”

“A fable from a true tragedy,” the opening line to Director Pablo Larrain’s newest movie “Spencer,” could not describe the film better.

The historical drama, starring Kristen Stewart, Jack Farthing and Timothy Spall, is a haunting but beautiful film surrounding the royal family’s holiday preparations at the Sandringham Estate. 

The film had viewers on the edge of their seats and enthralled by the scenes.

“Spencer” is set in the United Kingdom’s county of Norfolk in December 1991 and follows the British royal family through their Christmas weekend. This film circulates around Princess Diana of Wales as she maneuvers the ever-watchful royal family and their strict traditions. 

The film begins 10 years into Diana’s time as a royal, allowing viewers to see the deterioration of her marriage with Prince Charles and her struggle with her mental and physical health. 

Throughout the movie, Diana struggles to face her bulimia, royal pressures and the knowledge of her husband’s affair.

“Spencer” is a dark and sad story enveloped by the glitz and glamor of the picturesque royal life. The film displays scenes of beauty, heartache and discourse, while balancing it out with lighter moments and even a few laughs. These moments are seen as Diana finds solace by spending time with her sons and her maid, Maggie.

The movie is ghostly, displaying scenes of the countryside covered by fog, flashbacks of happy childhood memories, Diana’s daydreams of Anne Boleyn and their similar fates. The soundtrack, which mixes jazz and classical baroque, works well to intensify the scenes. 

There are many bright colors that are worn by the royal family and decorate the lavish estate, however, these shades are dulled to give a somber effect. 

There are different thoughts about this film, especially when it comes to Stewart’s representation. Most famously known for her role as Bella Swan in the “Twilight” series, Stewart faced initial uncertainties from fans as she took on the role of Princess Diana. 

Some believed that Diana was being played as a childish rich girl, throwing tantrums when she did not get her way. However, others thought that Stewart brought her own flare to the role. 

Equipped with Diana’s accent, Stewart brings an unseen fire to the princess, perhaps playing on the emotions Diana was expected to hide. Diana’s character is seen through Stewart’s portrayal from the way she holds her head to her gestures, mannerisms and even her blonde bob haircut. 

While based on a true story, the fictional imagining leaves you wondering what will happen next. Will Diana rebel against the royals? Will she confront her cheating husband? Will she find her escape through the love of her children and friends? Or will she fall under the weight of the crown?

Of course, we know the tragic ending to the real story, but “Spencer” embellishes with fictional what-ifs that represent Diana as a heroine fighting a cruel war.  

Follow Emily on Twitter @emilycSUCJN363.