Saturday, December 29, 2007

Atonement (2007, Joe Wright)

I have to start off my write up by saying that I have never read the novel that the film is based off of. I have heard nothing but amazing things about the novel and it's on my very long list of books that I have to read sooner or later. The reason I have to start off with this notification is because it seems, to me at least, that a lot of the people who have read the novel have a lot of mixed feelings towards the film adaptation. I have no idea about how well of an adaptation this is or what it kept, or didn't keep, from the novel, but what is there I really liked.

One of the constant complaints I have heard about the film from the people who have seen the film but never read the novel is how they disliked how the film had no real and fully fleshed out central love story when the whole film seems to circle around this "love story" . What is interesting to me is that this is the biggest reason why I loved the film. I loved how the film has this love story at the central of the story (along with another plot that I am still iffy about writing on since it will spoil the film a lot) and how this love story between McAvoy's character and Knightley's character never really turns into anything more than a should've/would've/could've kind of affair that is broken apart before any true emotions can be brought to the table. I liked how the 2nd half of the film follows both characters during World War 2 and how they keep on to this sad hope that one day they will be reunited and their love will come to true form.

The other thing that I loved about film was not the just the love story, the stellar performances, the great direction, or the stunning long-take, but how the film is really about a character seeking redemption for an action that she committed when she was too young to know about how big of a repercussion it would entail. I wont go into this and write much more about it because I watched the film without knowing what the film was really about and this whole storyline kept surprising me and took certain twists that I did not see coming and would have seen if I had seen or read much about the film. I think it's best experienced this way and I am pretty shocked that a lot of reviews spoil this aspect of the film.

I once again don't know what else to write about this film. I really loved it and it made me want to read the novel more that way I could see how well of an adaptation of the novel the film really is. As for now, though, it is a very solid film in my book and one of my favorites of the year.

I have to do some backpedaling and see Pride and Prejudice because if this is only Wright's 2nd film as a director...then this guy is going to be one of the best in upcoming years. The amount of confidence in his directing was one of the best surprises that I had while watching the film. And no - I am not just saying that because of all the pretty images and that amazing long-take. Although, they didn't hurt either.

- ****


MovieDan82 said...

A huge fan of Wright's P&P. Check it soon.

My name is Ramses said...

Its been on my "to watch" list since it first came out on dvd.

I'm hoping I can rent it this weekend.