“Atonement” movie review

First of all, I must remind you that if you hadn’t watched this movie yet, I suggest you to skip reading this blog entry altogether since this movie is very worth watching. I promise you, you won’t waste your money on watching this movie.

I had known that this movie was adapted from a novel of the same title. Thank God I didn’t have enough spare time to read it, because I know that if I had, I would’ve been as enraptured as I had in watching Atonement yesterday.

~~Spoiler starts here~~
The storyline of this Atonement movie was indeed one of the most shocking I’ve ever encountered this far. And I choose to say it as “shocking” and not “thrilling” or “suspenseful” or even “tense” because those 3 last adjectives could be misused if they were used to describe this movie!

Mind you, the real surprise of the movie came at the last minutes of the movie. And I was going to give this movie a very bad review before I finally found out the hidden secret that Ian McEwans, the author of the story, had kept all along that far. I just thank God the whole plot didn’t have to end in a twist.

The movie started off with a typical setting that seemed to be adapted from a Jane Austen novel, you know, with all the 19th-century mansion, the English royals, and related stuff. I firstly made a quick guess that Atonement — with Cecillia and Robbie being the lovely protagonists playing around in the park— would end up with those two being married happily.

Well, as it turned out, my so-called “quick guess” turned out to be right in a certain way, though not in the way that most people could have expected.

The movie has another unique feature rarely found in any other movies. Paul Marshall, the one who kept silence over his own crime (and hence he lets Robbie be arrested for his wrongdoings), was surely an antagonist. However, he didn’t have very much role in the movie.

I’m not even sure whether to call Cecillia’s sister Briony a protagonist or an antagonist. She seemed to be the one hindering Cecillia’s and Robbie’s relationship in the beginning, though it was basically due to her naïveté as a 13-year-old girl.

However, as the story unfolds, she became the main protagonist as she “attempted” to retrace Robbie’s and Cecillia’s footsteps altogether as to rejoin them for a matrimony, though she still couldn’t become a protagonist in the very real sense of the word.

I give my deepest acclaim to Ian McEwans for such a wonderful story. Despite the fact that the Atonement story is a fiction, he had reminded me that there are much more love stories that ended more tragically, more painful, more regrettable than the ones I’ve been having, despite the fact that they were all preventable.

And if you were careful enough to retrace the main cause of Robbie’s and Cecillia’s tragic ending, it started off with a simple joke. A joke that caused a broken vase, caused misunderstanding on Briony’s part, and coupled with several other misunderstandings, they all brought up to Robbie’s arrest and his subsequent enlistment in the army.

It was tragically ironic indeed.

Verdict: 8 out of 10

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