Friday, April 21, 2017

the sense of an ending…

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 years.
Charlotte 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.
Essentially, 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.”
I think you need to see it.

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