Rating: 3.5/5 Stars (Three and a half stars)
Star Cast: Jim Broadbent, Charlotte Rampling, Harriet Walter, Emily Mortimer, Michelle Dockery
Director: Ritesh Batra
What’s Good: Engaging, nice story-telling, good performance and casting
What’s Bad: This is not a film for the masses
Loo Break: I would not suggest using one
Watch or Not?: Yes, for sure
The film is adapted from British author Julian Barnes’ Man Booker Prize-winning novel of the same name. Tony Webster (Jim Broadbent) is a retired and divorced man, who owns a camera shop in London. Although he lives alone, Tony is in good terms with his ex-wife Margaret (Harriet Walter) and pregnant, single daughter Susie (Michelle Dockery).
The film is based on Tony’s recollection of past events of his youth, how he met his girlfriend Veronica, an awkward weekend spent at Veronica’s place, how Veronica falls in love with his best friend from school Adrian Finn and the nasty letter which he pens to them. But does he remember the exact truth?
Suddenly, he gets to know that Veronica’s deceased mother has left a diary for him. He gets in touch with Veronica after years but she refuses to hand it over to him saying that he legally has the right to it but morally not. Why does Veronica refuse to give him the diary? What actually had happened in the past and how much of it Tony remembers accurately?
The Sense of an Ending Review: Script Analysis
The film travels nicely between the past and the present. Nick Payne makes an enjoyable use of sarcasm and humour in the dialogues. There are times when the film appears to be losing pace but it gains back quickly.
Tony Webster appears to be detached from his family but he does care for them. He is a bit cranky and doesn’t care about losing a potential customer or being rude to the postman. But we gradually get to know that he is a loving father at heart and still cares for his ex-wife who he apologizes to in the end. And like many people of his generation, he is technologically handicapped. His struggles with smartphones and social media are the comic reliefs to the story.
Jim Broadbent and Michelle Dockery’s chemistry as father and daughter is enjoyable.
The Sense of an Ending Review: Star Performance
Jim Broadbent is excellent as the protagonist and narrator. He actually makes you fall in love with the old man!
Billy Howle as young Tony is relatable.
The beautiful Emily Mortimer as Veronica’s mother Sarah Ford and Harriet Walter as Tony’s ex-wife Margaret are impressive but it is Charlotte Rampling (old Veronica Ford), who steals the show in a small role.
The Sense of an Ending Review: Direction, Music
The film has been shot in picturesque locales. Brownie points to the director for a smooth storytelling and switching between the past and the present with ease. However, a little bit of focus on things like Susie’s baby bump would be appreciated. The baby bump not just looks way too artificial, I also wonder whether heavily pregnant women walk that fast!
Ritesh Batra grabbed eyeballs with his debut film, The Lunchbox, which hit theatres in 2013. The Sense of an Ending very much has the same style of storytelling, which makes the viewer engage with the film right from the first scene.
The Sense of an Ending Review: The Last Word
Another excellent film from the director of The Lunchbox, The Sense of an Ending is a thoroughly enjoyable and gripping tale! I would go with three and a half stars for it!
The Sense of an Ending Trailer
The Sense of an Ending releases on 19th May 2017 in India.
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