FILM ONLY REVIEW
Maurice Bendrix is a novelist working in London, he is out walking on a rainy night when he bumps into his friend Henry. Henry asks him home for a drink and the men get talking. Henry is concerned that his wife Sarah is having an affair and he is considering having her followed but little does he know that Sarah was once having an affair with Maurice.
Maurice was happy with Sarah until she abruptly ended the affair and he is still racked with jealousy that she may be with another man so he decides he will have her followed. Maurice is also writing a novel about hate and as it happens it involves his affair with Sarah. As Maurice writes we discover their affair and what happened during it but when the pair meet will the affair be rekindled and what will the private detective find out?
I have found it quite hard to give a brief plot summery for this film as there was a lot happening which went from different time frames so I have tried to give a little but not too much of the story as I do not wish to spoil it for those who may not have seen the film yet. The story was not an original one and it was mainly about a pair of lovers I did find it to be interesting as it was told in a very different way. Both me and hubby did have problems at the start of the film with the time frames, one moment we would be in the present and the next we would have moved back 2 years when the affair was happening but this was hard to spot at first and we kept getting lost. I am please to say it did get easier as the film went on due to the war being a key part of the affair.
I think this film was helped greatly by the choice of actors, the lead role of Maurice was played by Ralph Fiennes. He was a strong character and very believable, we did not get to know much about him and I liked the air of mystery which surrounded him from this, he was very jealous and this gave him a slightly nasty and hard image as well as the passionate on he had when with Sarah. Ralph managed to put so many emotions into the role really felt I got to know him well and I knew what he was thinking and why he acted as he did. He delivered all of his lines with ease and passion and was a very strong character. There was a good chemistry between him and the role of Sarah and I enjoyed seeing how their relationship developed. Sarah was played by Julianne Moore as she too played a very strong role. She was likable and despite cheating on her husband I could feel her pain and why she needed to be with someone who loved her. There was a constant connection between these two characters and even when they had been reunited and not lovers anymore there was still a powerful and tense love between them both. We also had the role of Henry which was good but he was not as central as the other two actors, he was played by Stephen Rea and there were times when I wanted to shake him and tell him to grow a backbone and fight for the woman he supposedly loved but he did not and I was disappointed he was not stronger, the acting was good but I would have liked more from him.
The film was set just after the end of world War 2 and this was very apparent from the location, sets, props and costumes. The clothes were all of the time and looked very good. I did enjoy seeing how London was after the war and felt it was a very good portrayal of the era. The scenes which involved the war were also very good and believable. We did have some special effects during the film and I found them to be of a high standard. They fitted effortlessly into the film and were good to watch. The music was not very memorable but it did help with the scene setting and tensions of the scenes in which the tracks were used.
The one criticism I do have of this film is the love scenes, for me they were overly long and not necessary. We did not have to watch 5 minutes of love making when it could have been a few seconds and the rest left up to our imaginations. We did not need the nudity either and for me it was off putting. We did get to see Ralph Fiennes bottom though which was a plus side! If it would have been left as subtle sex scenes I would have not been inclined to have left the room for the toilet or a cigarette when they were on.
The film was made in 1999 and I was worried that I might have looked dated as I was unsure of what it was about before I watched it but luckily as it was set in the 1940’s this was not the case and I think it holds up very well in the present time.
I am only reviewing the film so there are no bonus DVD features to speak about. The running time of the film is 102 minutes and the rate is an 18. The rate is spot one due to the language and the sex and nudity. The DVD can be bought for just a few pounds now online and I personally think it is not worth paying for.
I would love to be able to give this film more than 3 stars but there were a few factors which I did not enjoy. The story was good and told very well and the acting was strong. The things which have made me rate this down are the sex, nudity and the way at the start of the film both me and hubby had issues working out what year we were meant to be in. I would recommend watching this if you can catch it on the TV for free.