Saturday, January 10, 2009

Atonement. A-

James McCavoy and Kiera Knightley play two lovers who are torn apart by a young girl's terrible lie. I've seen 'Atonement' twice now, and something remarkable happened after the second viewing. When I finished watching the film the first time I was disappointed. I felt that the movie could have gone on longer and gone deeper into Robbie's (McAvoy) experience in the war and more on what happened after the lie. The movie was only two hours long and I felt that it could have been three (I rarely say this but in this case I do) It seems to be rushed during the second half, especially at the very end when we learn what happened to Cecelia (Knightley) and Robbie. Because this movie received so much acclaim upon its release I decided to see it again just in case I missed something. After the second viewing I realized that the simplicity of the movie is why it is so special. Sure, it could have gone for three hours and become an emotional tearjerker. But then it would be too familiar. This a neat, well crafted, beautiful movie from Joe Wright. (Pride and Prejudice) The settings are spectacular and there are some scenes that I simply loved, such as the part when Robbie, torn and wounded, walks in front of the movie screen. We see him in color and the movie in black and white. It is a great image, and-I quote 'The Maltese Falcon: 'The Stuff that dreams are made of.'

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