Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Atonement (Joe Wright, 2007)

Cast: Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, Saoirse Ronan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Vanessa Redgrave, Brenda Blethyn

Summary: Through a series of catastrophic misunderstandings Robbie Turner is accused of a crime he did not commit. This accusation destroys Robbie and Cecilia's newfound love and dramatically alters the course of their lives.

Genre: Drama, Romance

I truly had no idea what to expect when I started watching this film, most probably because I hadn't read the book (not that I knew there was one at the time). In this case I think that not having read the book was an extremely good thing as it would have ruined absolutely everything.

The films opens showing us peaceful scenes at the country home of the Tallis family but it is somewhat overshadowed by a sense of dread that appears and continues to build. If you thought the feeling of unease was uncomfortable the first event in a series of misunderstandings changes everything, but that's not the only one. There are plenty of twists and turns in this film and it's the final one for me that hurts the most.

I'm not a big fan of Kiera Knightley but I actually quite liked her in this role and as usual James McAvoy does an incredible job, but for me the stand-out is Saoirse Ronan clearly outshining everyone as she plays the young Briony Tallis. After first seeing her in The Lovely Bones and then Hanna she has quickly become one of my favourite actresses.

I think that the story is brilliant, absolutely brilliant. I was reading an Empire magazine (I can't remember the issue or who said it) and saw this quote which I completely agree with,

"Atonement reaches an extraordinary conclusion. An ending that will perplex, agonize, and break hearts, all as it is meant to"

My Rating: 8/10

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