Sunday, February 12, 2012

Film Review: Atonement

Would someone pass me the razor blades please?

I "enjoyed" this film though this isn't the same as having fun watching a film.

I won't ruin the ending if you don't know it but I'm not sure it could be more depressing.

I liked James McAvoy in The Last King of Scotland and he is just as good here.  McAvoy's best trait may be his ability to portray emotional injury.  His protagonist here is the lower caste lover of an upper class girl played by Keira Knightly who is falsely accused of a crime by her younger sister.  Knightly is good--though too thin to be wholly believable in a mid 1930's set film.

The film works on a number of levels, comparing and contrasting levels of class and status, the unreliability of witnesses, family jealousy, etc.  and is paced and set up well.

The story itself, though simple, is filmed to include a number of flashbacks that keep it from being simple point A to point B exercise.

Though advertised as taking place during WWII this really has no bearing on the story itself and this is not a "war" film.  The war itself is not necessarily important to the movement of the plot, nor do you need to have an interest in WWII to enjoy the film.  The weight of the story is what carries the film and if you and or your significant other, as it should be viewed with someone you care about, can stand a depressing yet well crafted work then it deserves your viewing.

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