HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Gaia
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
Sweat
Quiet Place Part II, A
Nobody
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Duel to the Death
Mandibles
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Yakuza Princess
Djinn, The
New Order
Triggered
Claw
Original Cast Album: Company
Martyrs Lane
Paper Tigers, The
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
Hall
ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, The
Collini Case, The
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, The
Superhost
Plan A
When I'm a Moth
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Misha and the Wolves
Yellow Cat
Shorta
Knocking
Bloodthirsty
When the Screaming Starts
Sweetie, You Won't Believe It
Lions Love
Demonic
Night Drive
Luca
Prospect
   
 
Newest Articles
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
   
 
  Sense of an Ending, The Time Opens All Wounds
Year: 2017
Director: Ritesh Batra
Stars: Jim Broadbent, Charlotte Rampling, Harriet Walter, Michelle Dockery, Matthew Goode, Emily Mortimer, James Wilby, Edward Holcroft, Billy Howle, Freya Mavor, Joe Alwyn, Peter Wight, Hilton MacRae, Jack Loxton, Timothy Innes, Nick Mohammed
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Tony Webster (Jim Broadbent) is a largely retired man in his late sixties who runs a vintage camera shop in his spare time, which he has quite a bit of as he winds down his life. But maybe there are things from his past that will prevent him relaxing into old age, as while his daughter Susie (Michelle Dockery) is in the late stages of her pregnancy and that should be taking up more of his time, especially when the baby arrives, something arrives in the mail that makes him pause. It is a letter from a solicitor telling him he is due to receive a certain item from the estate of a man he once knew when he was at university, but does not say what it is, and this dredges up memories of Tony's first true love, Veronica: has she done him wrong after all these years?

Tony has not seen Veronica since they were in their early twenties, you see, and he feels she left him in the lurch, but has not allowed this to ruin his life or anything for he made a decent try at another romance and eventually married Margaret (Harriet Walter). Fair enough, that relationship ended in divorce, but they are still on speaking terms and now get along better with one another than they did when they were wed, yet this letter has left Tony with a ghost from his past he believed he had laid to rest, and once again the old saying about you thinking you were done with the past but the past was not done with you raised its head to inform the plot of this adaptation of Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel.

That book was a first-person work featuring an unreliable narrator, which is a tricky effort to translate to the big screen, and there were fans of the source who were not convinced director Ritesh Batra had succeeded in capturing the particular flavour of the writing. If you had not read it, and were none the wiser, you might latch on to the fact that the flashbacks to Tony's university and school years were not entirely accurate and indeed were being very selective in what they chose to recall, leaving gaps in the narrative that were not filled in even as the end credits rolled. Then again, you may be frustrated that it was not all wrapped up with a bow, as ambiguity does not always play too well in the cinema.

Not that every film had to spell everything out, but Batra and his screenwriter Nick Payne sought to make a virtue of deploying their protagonist's uncertainty and increasingly punctured belief in his own correctness. When we first meet Tony, he comes across as a set in his ways and confident in his conservative worldview, able to look back on his life with the satisfaction that he never did anything very wrong, puttered along without making any unnecessary waves, didn't upset any applecarts and if he did not suffer too many fools, that was nothing to get het up about. But this letter, and his subsequent investigations, lead him into darker realms where what appeared to be a glancing association with Veronica's family is revealed as something deeper that he is frustratingly unable to grasp: he thinks he gets it, but does he really?

Is he in fact responsible for terrible consequences in other people's lives that the way in which he comes to terms with himself by the story's close does not erase from the consciences of those others? From starting off like a terribly middle class, safe little domestic mystery with lightly humorous character bits, we slowly twigged that something really awful had occurred, and if we were still not given the whole picture by the close we could discern how selective Tony was in his self-image. The cast bringing this to life were both much the faces you would expect and more than up to the challenge; Charlotte Rampling was Sphinx-like in her regard as the older Veronica (Freya Mavor played her in the flashbacks), a dab hand at this sort of work after her turn in the not dissimilar 45 Years not long before this, and needless to say Broadbent essayed the lead as to the manor born, you could not have asked for a better star. Though The Sense of an Ending took its own sweet time in warming up, it was worth the wait for the unanticipated assessment of the viewer and what they should be guilty about it elicited, uneasy as that was. Music by Max Richter.

[Studio Canal's Blu-ray has as extras a billion interviews and a brief bit about what you would say to your 21-year-old self.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1835 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Jason Cook
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: