Sunday, January 06, 2008

Atonement - A Movie Review

I went to watch Atonement today, with the girlfriend. It was actually quite interesting although it did leave quite a number of viewers in the cinema hall a tad confused.

The movie, which is an adaption of a novel of the same name by Ian McEwan, stars Kiera Knightley, amongst others. It begins by telling the tale of how one young girl (Briony - Saoirse Ronan) got the wrong impression of an incident she witnessed, and when one thing led to another, she causes an innocent man (Robbie - James McAvoy), her sister's (Cecillia - Kiera Knightley) lover, to be jailed.

The rest of the movie explores how Briony atones for it, right into her adult life and twillight years.

Since the movie is set in World War II England, and France, there's bound to be some prerequisite "war footage". If you are expecting visceral combat, forget about it, but there's some visceral shots of the after-effects of war, the injuries, the dead, etc.

I wonder whether it was because of the Malaysian censorship board exercising due dilligence, or the movie director's cut, that the movie had us guessing which part of the female anatomy, Robbie was referring to in his type-written letter to Cecillia. No hints here, but I did get it right. We even dropped by the nearby Borders bookstore to check out the book in order to confirm my guess.

Anyways, as mentioned earlier, the movie did leave some people confused. One even remarked that she didn't know "what the heck was going on". There were also a group of teenagers that looked like they were in it for Miss Knightley.

I can't say that this is an ideal date movie (it's not romance per se) but I rate it highly though as an individual and certainly wouldn't mind watching it again on DVD. If you want something much deeper than any popcorn fare out there, this would be it.