Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Sense of an Ending: Monday, March 27 2017

The Sense of an Ending in based on the Man Booker prize-winning book (2011) of the same name, by Julian Barnes. I strongly suspect the book must be much better than the film if it won the prize. I haven't read the book, nor will I.

When the film opened, I settled down thinking I was going to enjoy it. The English do this kind of film so well. The acting of Jim Broadbent, Charlotte Rampling and Harriet Walter, and the rest of the cast, was excellent. Without that, the question would be, was the film worth watching? 

Ritesh Batra is an Indian prize-winning director. He is known to foreign audiences for The Lunchbox, a delightful film about the delivery of lunches in Mumbai. Unfortunately, his touch on this film didn't seem quite as sure as it might have been. 

Perhaps it's the book that is the problem. The flashbacks, the uncertain memory of Tony Webster, Jim Broadbent's character, the slow direction, all add to making it very difficult to follow the story. I'd had a bad night, so I hate to admit that the comfortable seat, the warmth, and the soothing, flickering light from the screen, all conspired to send me to sleep. I have this problem when I am bored, especially if I haven't slept well the previous night. The film wasn't gripping my attention. 

On discussing the film with my friends afterwards, I realised that I must have missed the crucial scene, which was led up to so slowly, and then left behind slowly, it had made no impression on my tired brain. My friends, who hadn't my problem of staying awake, also had problems with piecing the story together. This they didn't like. 

On researching the story line on the internet, it didn't seem particularly compelling. Spoiler alert: an older woman who ought to have had more sense, seduces younger men, friends of her daughter. She falls pregnant with one of them, and produces a damaged baby as she is really too old to be pregnant.  Which of the friends is the father? Make your own choice. Not a pretty picture! 

It's difficult to say anything about this film. My friends all said they definitely wouldn't recommend it to any of their friends. Too confused, and too slow!

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