Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

16 February 2008

Atonement, dir. Joe Wright (2007)

NIKKI says:
I wasn't sure what to expect with this movie as I had such a terrible time with the book a few years ago. My problem, from memory, had much to do with Ian McEwan's style, which I found quite dry and emotionless. I was also disappointed by the sort-of twist ending, something I feel has been done to death -- this happened, no wait, it was really this! -- and, therefore, felt more like an easy way out than an authentic conclusion, no matter how unquestionably sad the "real" ending is.

The movie was better. I was less bored, by any rate. Still, something didn't quite pull together for me. The story is compelling, and critics are right when they talk about how well it unfolds. But, we know the truth from the ery beginning, so it's not suspenseful, it's not a mystery, it's simply a waiting game to see the extent of the pain inflicted on these characters by one's misunderstanding of young romance between opposing classes.

That Briony takes so many years to realise her error and confront it is slightly unrealistic to me. She might be fanciful, but she's still human, and I would think she'd take steps to right her wrongs long before she eventually does. I also think, as with the book, the ending could have been different. I think the conclusion could have taken place in "real" time, with Briony at 18, rather than 70-odd. It could have been done.

Still, a good film, with some issues.


STEVE says:
Ricky Gervais is doing one of those "lateral thinking" puzzles with his friend Karl Pilkington. He says (and I'm paraphrasing, here), "A man walks into a pool of sharks, hungry, man-eating sharks, and comes out the other side, untouched. How?" Karl wracks his brain: "He's wearing armour?" "No." "He's crossing a bridge?" "No, in the pool with the sharks, soaking wet, comes out the other side." When Karl finally gives up, and asks Ricky what the answer is, Ricky's reply is, "I lied, there were no sharks."

That's how I felt about the end of this movie. If you're going to show me your story, and then tell me you just made that last bit up, but all the rest of it was true, couldn't you just leave the last bit out, maybe?

I was with this movie for the first 48 minutes. Intriguing, suspenseful, well-written and directed. But then we move onto the war scene that goes on and on for something like 25 minutes, only to find that the first 20 or so didn't matter so much. Great cinematography aside, when I have time to notice a Steadicam shot that runs for close to five minutes, my mind is clearly not being held by whatever the scene is meant to convey.

I'm giving it a 3/5, but that's mostly for the first 48 minutes and the promise of what could have been.

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