Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Atonement: Hollywood epic as usually is glamorous and meaningless

Hollywood can produce technically perfect pictures. Great acting, lustrous directing and photography and even a good script make a film that easily can be watched but can it really move you or even touch you. These films have no peculiarity, are perfectly balanced and therefore are heartless.

Atonement is one of these films. It has everything going for it. An interesting script from a book that is already famous. A tragic love story, a misunderstanding that complicates everything, a war to make things even more dramatic and still the script doesn’t manage to get you really involved. Directing is well done. It even has an interesting idea. In the beginning it shows the story form the point of view of both sisters. In this way it is very clear from the beginning the tragic confusion that spears the narrative of the film. On the other hand, it might have been a more compelling film if everything was not thus so well explained. If for example we watched all the film through the point vies of the little sister. I this way there would be a small mystery on why the elder sister is so much in favor of the man. Is she in love with a rapist, how can that be? As the little girl grows up and gets a better understanding of the situation the spectator would come to understand the truth with her. In this case though Keira Knightley would have a far smaller part and those who went to see the film just for her would be heavily disappointed.

All actors have done an excellent work and that is probably the most important plus of the film. Vanessa Redgrave as the elder Briony (younger sister) proves that even few minutes are enough for an actor to prove himself. Saoirse Ronan is also very good, even her competence has been overstated due to her youth. Still there too many scenes during the film that the actors have a mesmerized look on their faces. First the young Briony, then Cecilia confronting the tragic events and then again when Briony realizes what she had done. You don’t notice while watching the film but when remembering it you come up with too many scenes that different actors have the exactly same blank expression on their faces. Considering this I can only reach the conclusion that it must have been some guide line given form the director. To say nothing more it was a directing that ruined some parts of an overall successful acting.

In conclusion Atonement doesn’t manage to take the extra step that would carry it from being another without spirit Hollywood film to the grand epic (like the English Patient) that had ambitions to be.


I am in love with the green gown that Keira Knightley wears in the most crucial scene of the film. It was dress that advertised the film all by itself. On the other hand, if you end up commenting the dress in a film, the film is probably a lost cause.


Βερναρδος said...

Διάβασα αρκετά από τα άρθρα σου.Τα βρίσκω ενδιαφέροντα.
Φαντάζεσαι να μη σου άρεσε ούτε το φόρεμα.

On Cinema and...other said...

Ευχαριστώ για το σχόλιο. Αν η κριτική μου σου φαίνεται πολύ σκληρή θα ήθελα πολύ να ακούσω κάποια διαφορετική άποψη. Όσο για το φόρεμα....όσο και "σοβαρή" και να είμαι, νιώθω την ανάγκη να κάνω και ένα πιο "ελαφρύ" σχολιάκι. Δες το ωσ δείγμα της γυναικείας μου φύσης΄.:-)
Ελπίζω να σε ξανασυναδω στο blog σύντομα και με όρεξη για συζήτηση και ενστάνσεις

Βερναρδος said...

Σε κάποιον που του αρέσει ένα φόρεμα,πόσω μάλλον σε μία γυναίκα,δεν σημαίνει ότι στερείται σοβαρότητας.
Σημαίνει αποδοχή της ομορφιάς έστω και όταν αυτή προέρχεται από μία Χολυγουντιανή ταινία.
Δεν βρήκα την κριτική σου σκληρή.Χρήσιμη τη βρήκα.
Ενστάσεις δεν έχω διότι αλίμονο αν κάθε έργο τέχνης άρεσε σε όλο τον κόσμο.

On Cinema and...other said...

Είσαι πολύ ευγενικός. Και πάλι ευχαριστώ πολύ για τα σχόλια. Περιμένω να σε ξαναδλω στη γειτονιά μου