Fledgling writer Briony Tallis, as a 13-year-old, irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister's lover of a crime he did not commit. Based on the British romance novel by Ian McEwan.
Hallam's talent for spying on people reveals his darkest fears-and his most peculiar desires. Driven to expose the true cause of his mother's death, he instead finds himself searching the rooftops of the city for love.
When Briony Tallis, 13 years old and an aspiring writer, sees her older sister Cecilia and Robbie Turner at the fountain in front of the family estate she misinterprets what is happening thus setting into motion a series of misunderstandings and a childish pique that will have lasting repercussions for all of them. Robbie is the son of a family servant toward whom the family has always been kind. They paid for his time at Cambridge and now he plans on going to medical school. After the fountain incident, Briony reads a letter intended for Cecilia and concludes that Robbie is a deviant. When her cousin Lola is raped, she tells the police that it was Robbie she saw committing the deed. Written by
The superb Ian McEwan book translated into cold beautiful images by the startling Joe Wright and scriptwriter Christopher Hampton. The result is a series of powerful rushes and abrupt stops. A pacing that, perhaps, is a bit too self conscious for its own good doesn't help us to connect the emotional dots. I had the feeling I had lost something in the love story of the protagonists - something that didn't happen to me reading the book. By the time the "injustice" takes place I was taken by the pain of the injustice but not by Knightley and McAvoy's liaison. Their love story is left to its own devices. The beauty of the images is overwhelming and the assuredness of Joe Wright at his second feature after the, much better, "Pride and Prejudice" keeps you going. The score tends to be monotonous and irritating but in spite of all that I intend to see "Atonement" again and I would recommend it with just the above mentioned reservations.
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