Don’t you just hate it whenever you have to do chores? It’s been one of these weeks for me here at home. We are having our kitchen renovated and the first few days have been a real nightmare. Dust everywhere, ordering food, getting up at 7 am (when exams are over and you need that extra hour of sleep) and other wonderful experiences. But, now everything seems to get into order and we’re just waiting for the equipment (fridge, oven etc) and the furniture to come! And when it comes I know what I’ll be doing… cooking!
So, in my free time (all that’s left) I go for a swim, enjoy a coffee next to the sea and watch wonderful films that have been in my «To watch» list for ever! Atonement is not one of these, since I caught it the first time it came out in the cinemas. In fact, I was obsessed with it before I even watched it. I just have this love for Keira Knightley and films set during WWI and WWII. As a result I couldn’t resist the need to make a Film Recap for this masterpiece by Joe Wright.
The film begins with one of the main characters, Briony, a young girl who likes to write novels and has a lot of imagination. I adore the music (and the whole soundtrack) in this scene. You can hear the sound the typewriter makes…
When Briony finishes her play she goes to show her mother. That way we get to see parts of the house.
She meets Robbie (James McAvoy) during the way, who she has a crush on.
Briony and her sister Cecilia (Keira Knightley) are lying on the grass having a chat about Briony’s play and Cecilia’s relationship with Robbie.
The twins and Lora, Briony’s cousin, are rehearsing the play Briony wrote.
When the rehearsal is over Briony gets to witness an incident between Cecilia and Robbie. Only she misinterprets it.
Then we get to see, in the most beautiful way, how things really happened. This scene did it for me. I was convinced it was going to be a wonderful film.
Cecilia picks up flowers and when she sees Robbie hanging out in the garden she decides to put some water on the vase.
The tension betweet the two characters is so obvious it almost screams! James and Keira are perfect together… definately!
Robbie tries to help Cecilia put water on the vase but accidentally cracks it and a piece gets thrown in the fountain.
Cecilia decides to go get it and of course undresses for that part.
At this point everything gets cleared out for the audience. But Briony hasn’t seen this version and in her mind Robbie forced Cecilia to get into the fountain in her babydol.l
Some friends come to visit the family and Cecilia is getting ready to welcome them.
Paul Marshall, a friend of Cecilia’s. I adore this dress Cecilia is wearing!
Having a swim at the nearby lake during summer is always a fun idea.
This character, Paul, is so ridiculously hideous and appauling. From the first scene I didn’t like him!
Robbie is invited to dine with the Tallis family. Before that he writes a letter to Cecilia while listening to some good music.
He thinks about Cecilia when writing a second letter, more provocative and sexually explicit that the first one.
On his way to the Tallis’ house he meets Briony and gives her the letter he has written for Cecilia.
He then realises he has given her the second letter that is very inappropriate. Briony, having suspicions about Robbie’s intentions, reads the letter and now thinks that Robbie is a sex maniac.
This girl has some serious privacy issues. She follows some «weird» noises coming from her dad’s office and when she arrives she gets to see an rather pornographic image.
Again, the genius named Joe Wright has fooled us. We get to see how Briony wrongly came to her conclusions of Robbie raping Cecilia.
Cecilia wears another amazing dress. This dress is the hightlight of her wardrobe in the film.
Cecilia and Robbie get to talk about their feelings, one thing leads to the other and they end up having sex, just not in the way Briony thinks.
Later, during the dinner the twins run away and everyone goes to look for them including Briony. She gets to see another pornographic image of her cousin, but she misses the face of the male responsible for that.
With the help of her cousin she figures out it was Robbie. Everyone gets questioned, Cecilia as well, and the final verdict is… Robbie raped Lola.
The following events happen so fast and the scene is so moving. Cecilia has to say goodbye to her lover who gets accused of rape and arrested.
Years later, Robbie gets releashed from the prison in condition he joins the British Army. The war has started.
When he gets back to London, he meets Cecilia who has become a nurse.
Their love is so big that they make up after all these years. Arrrrghhh!
Cecilia gives Robbie a photo of a place she wants to go after the war is over. A peaceful place just for the two of them.
The two characters are separated again, by war this time, but they never stop sending letters to each other.
Briony, now an adult, joins the nurses as well.
One day she walks into a church and witnesses the wedding between Lola and Paul. She realises that all these years Robbie was accused of something he never commited, while the real guilty man was free and obviously marrying the victim.
Now this scene is full of emotions, good and bad. Briony visits her sister in London where she stays with Robbie. He gets very upset when he sees her and demands that she speaks to everyone about her mistake of accusing him years ago.
DAMN!!! Vanessa Redgrave appears! She is Briony, a lot of years after, promoting her book named Atonement. She explains to us that Briony never visited her sister Cecilia. She never talked to Robbie and promised to make things right for him. She didn’t get to. She didn’t have the chance to.
Because Robbie and Cecilia died before they even got the chance to live together. Robbie died alone from sepsis (common disease during the war) and Cecilia was drowned in the famous flood of the Balham tube station.
And this is the point where tears were coming out of my eyes. No, not tears. Floods of tears that I couldn’t stop. WHY??? Oh, why? At least we got to see a final «imagined» moment between Robbie and Cecilia.