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Friday, Mar 08, 2002

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The Princess Diaries


"The Princess Diaries" ... a feel-good film all the way.

"CINDERALLA" MEETS "My Fair Lady" in Walt Disney Picture's latest "The Princess Diaries". Directed by Garry Marshall, whose earlier films include the Julia Roberts-starrers "Pretty Woman" and "Runaway Bride", the film is a fairy tale set in San Francisco.

Mia (Anne Hathaway) is a typical teenager, with unruly hair, braces for her teeth and having a crush on one of her classmates. Her mother is an artist and her best friend is the brainy Lily.

She carries on with her life like a typical teenager, coping with being the butt of her classmates' jokes and facing rejection. But everything changes when her mother tells her that her paternal grandmother wants to meet her. Mia wonders why till she discovers that her grandmother is actually Queen of Genovia... and she is princess!

The Queen (Julie Andrews) offers her the throne of Genovia. But before that, the transformation of the `ugly duckling' into a swan has to happen. And it does. Straight hair, tweezed eyebrows and lo! Mia is all set to be a princess. But what about table etiquette et al? Will Mia be able to change her habits? Will she accept the throne?

As Mia, Anne Hathaway slips into the role with ease. Her transformation from the gauche Mia (watch her making a toast!) to Princess Amelia is quite effective. As for Julie Andrews, she is a picture of grace. The confrontations between grandmother and granddaughter are very funny and at the same time emotional.

The rest play their parts with sincerity.

Yes, the film does move on expected lines and does not offer much by way of novelty, be it in acting or any other department of film making. But "The Princess Diaries" is clean, good and uncomplicated fun. A feel-good film all the way!

SAVITHA GAUTAM

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