Netflix: “The Crown,” Season 6, Part 1
The irony of “The Crown” Season 6 is that its laser focus is on a character who is no longer part of the Crown: Diana, the Princess of Wales.
Part 1 of Season 6 takes us back to 1997, as Diana (Elizabeth Debicki) adjusts to life after divorce from Charles, the Prince of Wales (Dominic West). Determined to remaining loving mummy to Prince William (Rufus Kampa) and Prince Harry (Fflyn Edwards), she also becomes romantically involved with Dodi Al-Fayed (Khalid Abdallah), the weak-willed son of Mohammed Al-Fayed (Salim Daw), a volatile Egyptian businessman.
Mohammed owns Harrods, the Ritz Paris, and the Fulham football teams. He apparently likes glittery things in his orbit and is determined to make a match between Dodi and Diana, although the last thing Diana wants to do is to get married.
Over a period of six weeks, Diana and Dodi canoodle on Dad’s yacht on the Riviera, much to the delight of the paparazzi and to the horror of Queen Elizabeth (Imelda Staunton) and Prince Philip (Jonathan Pryce). The couple’s summer romance culminates in the night in Paris when Dodi proposes marriage—and the fatal car accident follows.
While we will never know if this portrayal is accurate, the writers have created a dramatization that seems plausible. The nearly unbearable lead-up to the car accident is treated with the level of detail given to the Kennedy assassination in 1963, and the final two episodes of Part 1 of Season 6 capture the emotional torment of both the royal family and their heartbroken subjects.
As for the cast, Debicki IS Diana. As she has said in interviews, “your body starts to take on the kind of physical experience and you're not doing a lot of acting.” Her scenes with young Kampa and Edwards are incredibly poignant and cannot fail to melt even the stoniest of hearts.
Having seen all six seasons of “The Crown,” I find that every one somehow surpasses the one before. With that in mind, I can scarcely wait for Season 6, Part 2 which drops December 14. I suspect I am not alone.
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