Atonement DVD Review
Atonement: The Movie & The Book
Misunderstanding Leads to Tragedy
This movie is a drama/tragedy directed by Joe Wright*. It is based on Ian McEwan’s critically acclaimed novel of the same name. It tells the tale of thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis, who misunderstands several exchanges between her sister, Cecilia and Robbie Turner, who is a servant’s son and also a family friend. Briony’s confusion causes her to misunderstand yet another situation she witnesses, and she ends up accusing Robbie of molesting her young cousin. Her accusation changes the lives of all of the main characters of the movie irrevocably.
*See more films by Joe Wright and books by Ian McEwan listed below the COMMENTS box.
I liked the technical aspects of this film better than the story, which I actually found to be a bit thin and weak. However, the music, cinematography, locations and lovely actors were enough to keep me with it. If you enjoy the craft of film making you will enjoy this movie. As entertainment, I found it lacking. The camera work by Seamus McGarvey was incredibly impressive with many beautifully framed shots and very effective long takes of the beautiful and interesting locations. The first part of the movie was filmed entirely on location in a stunning English manor house and it's grounds. The opening scene is a very long tracking shot that carries us through the house, and it is gorgeous. Each scene was beautifully framed, with a very effective color palette that really set the mood for each act of the movie. There were several times during the movie when I froze the frame to study the picture and take in the detail. In fact, if you click on the Amazon link to the movie, you will find a gallery of stunning stills displayed at Amazon. The scenes of Dunkirk and WWII era England seem to be accurate and are quite gripping. A powerful long take on the beach at Dunkirk is a memorable and remarkable moment in this film.
A Remarkable Soundtrack
The music by Dario Marianelli (Composer) and Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Performer) was arresting and very creatively done and really added to the story. I especially liked the use of a manual typewriter as an instrument in the opening scenes and several subsequent scenes.
Classic Vanessa Redgrave
Also, the casting was quite good. Pretty Keira Knightley and handsome James McAvoy are charming in their roles. The child, Saoirse Ronan, and young woman, Romola Garai, who play Briony, through most of the movie were lovely. They blended smoothly with each other and with Vanessa Redgrave who makes an appearance near the end of the film as mature Briony.
Using a Five Star rating system, I would give this movie Three Stars.
TRIVIA : Keira Knightley played Guinevere in King Arthur !
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