Friday, March 2, 2012
The woman is Briony Tallis, played in different stages of her life by Saoirse Ronan, Romala Garai and Vanessa Redgrave. When she was a girl, she witnessed a number of events that would change the course of everything she knows, all related somewhat to her older sister Cecilia (Keira Knightley) and Robbie (James McAvoy), the gardener.
Is there a motive to what Briony did at an age when she was just learning about the world around her? At some point in the film, she admits she once had a crush on Robbie. Could jealousy be the motive? After all, she did catch Cecilia and Robbie in a compromising position. Perhaps she thought if she couldn't have Robbie, no one could.
But the way she acts implies she never understood the feelings between Cecilia and Robbie. She also admits she was never in love. Yet does she understand it? Maybe it's one of those things she comprehended better as she got older, but no one knows except for her.
Atonement is a very well-crafted film, but it focuses too much on Cecilia and Robbie. There isn't enough on Briony, whom I clearly found the more compelling of the three. The cinematography and score are gorgeous, picking up for the dull spots. All in all, a very good film.
My Rating: ****1/2