Tuesday, February 5, 2008
ALMOST: (Joe Wright) From the director who brought us the breath-taking Pride and Prejudice, I can't help but be disappointed with after his latest, Atonement, a film that left me empty and yawning. A powerful trailor led one to believe the film would be edge of your seat suspense, fueled by unrelenting passion between two impossible lovers, and all due to the tragic naivety of an imaginative young writer. The emotion seems raw, the story seems daunting, and it makes the movie seem a must-see, especially adapted from such an increbile novel. Unfortunately, Atonement falls into a category in which the trailor captures all (and the only) great moments in the film, giving them coessence that can only be achieved in the one minute sprawl. What went wrong with Atonement was the writing. As you read a novel, the emotions can be described for the reader to the nth degree. Tones, moods, setting, etc. add together to imply what isn't written, making it easy and inevitable to become a part of each character. In the film, I was at a loss for connection with any character. I didn't believe the love between Knightley and McAvoy (playing Cecelia and Robbie), because we never got to know either one. Without connecting to any character from the beginning, the rest of the movie seemed simply a prologue. We are taken through war, through tragedy and through history, but it seems like a blink of an eye or only a snapshot. Once the movie ends (with the only emotional scene in the film), I was left completely indifferent towards anything that had happened. I didn't feel like I got the whole story or understood the extent of the emotion. The bottom-line seems to be that if you haven't read the novel, you're going to be in the dark and disappointed. For those who have read it, you'll be disappointed. You'll be impressed with the acting, blown away by cinematography, but as a film, it fails.