Despite a strong performance by Saoirse Ronan, Ian McEwan's adaptation of his own novel is a listless and unmoving film that is both poorly constructed and awkward in execution. The choice of adding not one but two codas to the film was poorly made with ridiculous makeup and plotting. Very disappointing considering the pedigree.
Given the shaggy dog joke premise this could have been farcical but the performances gave the film credibility. My only problem is I wished they didn't have to revisit the characters years later giving them ridiculous old age makeup. Although betraying the source material, I feel it would have been a stronger story if the movie was on chesil beach and no place else.
CINEMA, DCP _ I would never blame a director for trying. You end up with something different from what you had in mind but at least you took some risks, you had some kind of vision. This is the opposite, the most obvious, conservative, academic film you can make. An adaptation where costumes and nice landscapes "should do the trick". It saddens me because the novel i thought had something. Expensive TV material.
It’s McEwan’s film through and through, literary, patient, with first-time feature director Cooke taking tender care of it through an impressionistic translation of the writer’s words.
2.5 Two good actors, but dreary, static directing. Plot is maddeningly slow, with too pat an ending. Better to end on the beach, with the washed-up boat of their marriage. Also, atrocious aging make-up. Better as a book because interiority of characters can be revealed. Makes one glad that we can have sex these days without getting married, and also that we can have relationships that never leave the "friend zone."
7.4/10, my review: https://wp.me/p1eXom-3ye
"ON CHESIL BEACH might not possess ATONEMENT’s epic grandeur or stellar opulence, but in its cottage-industry approach, effectually carries off its wisdom and discretion."
It starts very slow and uneventful but tension rises and get emotionally charged towards the end. It's about relationships, sexuality, life decisive moments and regrets. I really liked it and would have given it a 4 star rate if the start hadn't been so slow. It's a great adaptation of Ian McEwan's book and Anne Marie Duffy is excellent as the brain damaged mother. It so British and highly recommended.