Atonement (2007) – 4/5

Atonement (2007)

Next: “Be Kind Rewind” (2008)

Beautifully shot like an epic, I really liked this movie except for a couple things. Great acting, sets, camera work, pretty much everything. Awesome, complex story too.

I loved the switching times and points of view they used as a device to tell the story from different perspectives. I felt a little cheated by the “wrong note” – it was so obvious that was going to happen and felt a bit amateurish. Also, the idea that based on a little girls statement about seeing someone in the dark outside, this guy wd go straight to prison. Again, it just felt a bit weak. Also, where was the atonement? I felt Briony “got away” with it. So she wrote about them in love in her book? Big deal. I don’t mind them dying and not being together, but reveal that to the viewer in another way. I didn’t like being taken so far into the future (present time) and ripped from that reality. So she’s sick and dying, that’s still not atonement. So it was GREAT except for the last 15 minutes.

One scene really sticks in my head. Early on we see Briony witness the fountain scene. We don’t know what happened (like her) and wonder. Then we see it how it really happened and are away of the breaking vase, the sexual tension, etc.

Much later, and w/o much fanfare, we see the scene of Briony jumping in the water and Robbie saving her. I cdn’t help but relate the two scenes. More importantly, I cdn’t help but wonder how Briony saw the fountain scene… maybe she saw her sister jump in and Robbie NOT save her. Maybe she saw her sister try her same trick and Briony is jealous. Maybe she saw Robbie NOT get mad at Cecelia and even the clear connection those two had at that time… the connection Briony herself didn’t have w/Robbie though she wanted it. Good stuff.

Haiku Summary
Girl lies about crime.
Guy goes to jail and war. Love
lost. Where’s atonement?

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