The Sense of an Ending(2017)
Unravel the truth.
Oscar winner Jim Broadbent (Iris) is a man haunted by his past in this British drama based on the novel by Julian Barnes. Co-stars Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling (45 Years).
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BY Aaron Yap Flicks Writer
The generally reliable presence of Brit stalwarts Jim Broadbent and Charlotte Rampling can only do so much heavy lifting to prevent this underwhelming adaptation of Julian Barnes’ novel from sinking into middlebrow mediocrity. It’s a clear example of a work that probably exists more convincingly in literary form; whatever emotional punch its source appears to have hasn’t survived the jump between mediums.... More
Recalling Andrew Haigh’s superior and more devastating 45 Years, The Sense of an Ending navigates the haunting fog of age, memory and perception, as cranky, divorced London retiree Tony Webster (Broadbent) is forced to confront his past when he’s bequeathed a mysterious diary by his former girlfriend’s late mother. Nostalgia-laced flashbacks fill in the gaps of Webster’s college years. It’s a time divided between pints at the pub with his Dylan Thomas-quoting buddies, a sexually frustrated relationship with first flame Veronica (Freya Mavor) and processing a tragedy that irrevocably changes their lives.
The minor-key gentleness of Ritesh Batra’s direction sporadically complements the introspective material. And Broadbent is expectedly good playing a grump. But attempts to seize profundity from all the timeline-leaping are laboured and heavy-handed, marked by some clunky spots of doddering-seniors-in-the-21st century-style humour (faring better are wryly observed scenes between Webster and his ex-wife Margaret). The Sense of an Ending eventually succumbs to its increasingly lethargic pace, flatlining at a resolution that should have yielded heart-rending catharsis, not shrug-inducing indifference.Hide
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The Sense of an Ending
BY cinemusefilm superstar
The film plot is simple but the story complex. Retired divorcee Tony (Jim Broadbent) is known as a curmudgeon by his ex-wife Margaret (Harriet Walter) and daughter Suzie (Michelle Dockery). He busies himself in his tiny shop selling second-hand Leica cameras when one day a lawyer’s letter arrives that reopens memories of his first love. What follows is a jigsaw of glimpses into an old man’s obsessive quest for redemption as he becomes haunted by an act of spite that he believes led to the suicide of his best friend. When he renews contact with his first love Veronica (Charlotte Rampling) he must confront unresolved emotions that were buried beneath the fictions he has constructed about his life.
This slow and serious film is not for everyone. Younger people are too busy making memories to be rewriting the story of their lives. Older audiences will recognise what Tony is experiencing and empathise with his need for a ‘sense of an ending’. Despite the film’s stellar cast and fine acting, none of the characters are especially likeable, so it is possible to leave this film disengaged with the people while having been thoroughly immersed in the story. This is a well-directed dialogue-driven film. Its multiple flashbacks capture the disjointed half recalled fragments that many of us store as life memories. Most of all, it is an introspective and insightful essay on how we make sense of our lives.Hide