I went along to the Watershed this afternoon to see Ritesh Batra’s film of Julian Barnes’s Booker prize-winning novel. I’d read the book nearly five years ago and had loved it.
The principal character, Tony (wonderfully played by
Jim Broadbent), now retired and divorced, reflects on his schoolboy days, his
friendships and a particularly painful relationship during his university days…
and then something happens (I can’t tell you!) that turns the clock back 40
Rampling plays Veronica, Tony’s university girlfriend – with Billy Howie and
Freya Mavor playing the characters (rather delightfully) in their younger days.
The other main supporting actors Harriet Walter (who plays Tony’s ex-wife and
confidante, Margaret), Michelle Dockeryl (who plays Tony’s daughter) and Emily
Mortimer (playing Veronica’s mothers) are very good too.
it’s a story about ageing and memory – something I’ve been reflecting on
an awful lot lately.
It’s a poignant,
moving film – beautifully acted and excellently crafted.
I was particularly pleased that the film included my
favourite quote from the book (P95):
“How often do we tell
our own life story? How often do we adjust, embellish, make sly cuts? And the
longer life goes on, the fewer are those around to challenge our account, to
remind us that our life is not our life, merely the story we have told about our
life. Told to others, but - mainly - to ourselves.”
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