Atonement. . After consulting my Collins English dictionary I can safely say that this film could have been named nothing else. Based on the superb British novel by Ian McEwan of the same name it tells the story of fledgling writer Briony Tallis, who, as a 13-year-old, irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister’s lover (James McAvoy) of a crime he did not commit, Whoops!
Directed by Joe Wright who I felt used this as an opportunity try and make a decent version of Pride and Prejudice; or possibly an excuse to work with the beautiful Keira Knightly again. However, Atonement makes up in every way that Pride and Prejudice lacked, and gives a great deal more…
The cinematography of Atonement is simply breathtaking. Using bold captivating shots to shock the viewer, burning the most important scenes in the film into the viewer’s sub-conscious. There is an extended shot at Dunkirk, tracking the length of the beach as our hero walks along, invisible to the people around him. I think I can safely say I have never been so blown away by a single shot. It continues without a cut for about five minutes which helps bring the viewer right into the middle of the action. Combined with joyous cheers, soldiers singing sombre prayers, and the gunshots of horses dying i too couldn’t wait to see those white cliffs again. It is worth the admission price alone. Seriously. If you don’t enjoy that I will eat my leg. (Sorry! still in zombie mode.)
I found the score to be somewhat monotonous and tedious although still perfectly suitable. I enjoyed the way the sounds of the type-wrtier were progressively layered to create an original score, however, this grew more tiresome every time it was played, which seemed to be almost every scene. In general It did what music should do, letting you know the tone of the situation, it just didn’t blow me away, which it really could of.
The acting in Atonement is superb, definitely Keira Knightly’s most accomplished role yet. I can only hope she is given more adult roles like this in the future. Keira, if your reading please stop even considering playing that swashbuckling strong-minded female!
One other point I feel I must note is how exceptionally well cast the film was, as Briony grew up, each of the actors that played were remarkably similar (even the hair cut!) which really helped keep the film flowing. James McAvoy also did an excellent job “playing” Knightly’s lover, although lets face it, who wouldn’t?
Overall; the only let down for me was a monotonous musical score and a somewhat obvious plot twist. I would definitely love to see Atonement again, although I can imagine it not being as enthralling off the big screen
Gorgeous Cast. Gorgeous Cinematography. Gorgeous!
Dunkirk has never looked this good! 9/10