A total gem of a film, this 2007 movie was based on the novel by Ian McEwan about the ramifications of a child’s lie on the relationship of her older sister and her boyfriend.
A stellar cast, this film has the possibility to make you laugh and cry. The photography is excellent. Light, darkness, shade. Blue, black. Beautiful scenery including a fantastic Dunkirk beach scene and a tormenting scene in a projection room. However, one of my favourite scenes is a claustrophobic scene between Robbie, Cecelia and Bryony in Cecelia’s flat as Robbie takes out his anger at the years wasted due to Bryony’s lie and her inability to face up to the truth.
As I said, the merit lies with the cast. Keira Knightley is top-class as Cecelia, and James McAvoy plays the handsome but tragic Robbie Turner who is part of the wealthy Tallis family due to paternal abandonment at a young age. He is angry, vunerable and tortured in his own way. McAvoy has the ability to play a role with precision while still managing to add his own nuance to characters, such as Robbie’s anger.
Atonement is also the film in which I first discovered Benedict Cumberbatch. Upon originally watching the film, I hated him but he is a fantastic actor. I then realized that I hated the character, but Ben was great at playing the role of smarmy, charming and creepy Paul Marshall.
Atonement is one of those rare films which makes you think each time you watch it.
If you ever say that the movie adaptation is a disaster or whatever, then you are wrong. But that’s just my opinion, and you as a viewer of the film or this post are welcome to your own thoughts. The film is beautifully done but the book has its own merits too. I haven’t read the book in a few years yet, but what I do remember is that Bryony’s play was performed after all many years later.