Reviews/Films – “Bewilderingly Slow Burning Story” – The Sense Of An Ending – Monday 17th April

Tugged in by the cleverly tempting trailer and being a fan of fabulous thespian’s Jim Broadbent & Charlotte Rampling who were supposed stars of this eagerly anticipated & quintessentially English screenplay, there was much promise although the result was disapprovingly different. But what made this movie so mundane and is there any silver lining to this cinematically catastrophic cloud?

 

 

When it comes to selecting a screenplay to plump for these days, there are a number of factors we tend to take into consideration, not least that in giving over at least three hours to a cinema trip, travelling & all, it needs to prove worthwhile, indeed we have all but given up on evening screenings for that very reason, all too often they proving a disappointment for one reason or another, while we are not good with crowds anywhere, let along in a cinema. But timings aside, the trails we see influence immensely and we often make up our mind on this alone, although we do also take a film’s cast into consideration before making our choice which, in the case of “The Sense Of An Ending” was an overriding factor in our decision to rush to the cinema the weekend it was released. Indeed, being a fan of both lead actor in this quintessentially English (moreover London based) movie, Jim Broadbent, as well as superb support in this film, Charlotte Rampling, she of cinematic  classics, “Georgi Girl”, “Farewell My Lovely” & “The Night Porter” fame, but also recently for the outstanding “45 Years”, Broadbent’s silver screen showings standing him out in our books including “Another Year”,  Mike Leigh’s clever comedy drama looking at four seasons of an old couples family life, “Brazil” where Jim’s portrayal of  unconventional plastic surgeon Dr Jaffe was a sheer delight,  his multiple roles in the iconic “Cloud Atlas”, but moreover as the hapless husband & father in the “Bridget Jones” trilogy. Yet while they were a major reason why we elected to go see “The Sense Of An Ending”, it was also its Britishness, albeit having commissioned by American production company FilmNation and directed by an Indian, Ritesh Batra, it’s financial backers, Origin Pictures, are British, it has the might of BBC Films behind it and is, of course, based on the book of the same name by British author, Julian Barnes, thus boasted considerable credentials even before watching the teasing trailer which would entice even the most sceptical of screen goers.   

So, given all this, what could possibly go wrong? Well, as it turned out, a lot, as despite the temptations of the trailer painting a prolific pitch to this motion picture, the outcome was nothing short of mundane, the constant switches between the main character’s latter life & his tumultuous time in scholarship decades before, off putting to say the least, we wanting the focus to be predominantly on Broadbent, but it was more about the young Tony Webster who, compared to Jim’s passionate & characterful portrayal of the elderly divorcee, was calculatedly callous & not very nice to boot. Then there was Rampling’s involvement which, according to the trailer would be significant, yet the parts of the picture she appeared in were no-where near enough as, like Tom, her character Veronica Ford, was much more prominent in the scenes focussing in the younger years, the flashback’s a fatal flaw in endearing us to this film. However, just as consternating, was the side show to the storyline, the elderly divorcee’s daughter’s pregnancy along with his strange relationship with his ex which, for the first part of this below par picture, seemed to shroud the more prominent parts of the storyline, the feeling being that the movie’s makers had attempted to keep far too close to the book which, clearly, struggled to translate onto the screen sufficiently successfully. But there was more, as the punchiness of the trailer preview was utterly lacking, no soundtrack score of any substance, some of the scenes so yawn worthy that we actually felt ourselves dropping off to sleep on a number of occasions, while there was a constant urge for the film to fire on captivating cylinders, yet is hardly left starting blocks, consistently dragging us along with its mundanity and those eventually irritating scene switches back to yesteryear, proving a disappointing distraction step too far. Yes, we liked the familiarly of the London landscape, yes, we admired the acting from both Broadbent & Rampling, but in no way was this a “45 Years” triumph, or indeed a “Brazil” or an “Another Year”, as for us, all we can conclude on “The Sense Of An Ending” is that we were relieved when this bewilderingly slow burning story came to an end! (DISCO MATT)


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About discomatt

The History........................................................Created in 2008 after a short period of blogging under his real name, the pseudonym, “Disco Matt”, was born on the back of a reputation for being London’s original party boy having partied and clubbed across the London gay scene since in mid 1990’s.........................................................Through his series of blogs via individual blogging pages which soon morphed into a full blown website (http://discomatt.com), Disco Matt established himself as an independent journalist come columnist who quickly gained a reputation for supporting & promoting one of the world’s most prolific clubbing scenes. He previewed, reviewed & recommended London gay clubs, as well as the diverse gay/metrosexual London club/bar culture, linking to & reviewing the scene top D.J.’s and generally covering the gay scene including international gay events....................................................Regularly reporting on the top events across the scene, Disco Matt’s reviews, over the years, developed a strong following, not just by clubbers, D.J’s, promoters, music producers & scene faces, but people far and wide that were looking for an insight to the incredible scene that was London. He also previewed upcoming events that signalled, either a major change or update of existing clubs, new ventures on the gAylist/metrosexual scene, or where he considered events that deserved more comprehensive coverage to that provided in other posts.............................................However, having pretty much reached the top of his game in his chosen specific field, due to a number of personal predicaments, challenges & changes in his life priorities, Disco Matt parked his writing and operation in February 2014. While the burning desire to continue remained, what this much needed period of inactivity did provide was the time & space to re-think & re-focus his activities on a broader spectrum of media and entertainment............................................................So, following this long two year lay-off, he built up the foundations for this diversification into the areas of film, theatre, radio & television where his reviewing, recommending & reporting was to be replicated & resurrected, also pointing his promotions through more visuals & video's linked to all these areas along with his core activities and passions ................................................................................The Present....................................After another (shorter) period of lay-off from mid 2016, a life changing event reignited his passion and early into 2017, Disco Matt has delivered on his promise for a new, more modern look to his website, shedding the old & tired skin in favour of something far more in keeping with the times and with his blogging roots. And he has waived a fond farewell to his clubbing days, this having also been ditched from his site & activity, rather now just focussing on the genres of film, theatre, radio, television, video and of course, music, in so doing, aiming to broaden his appeal to a much wider audience interested in the latest most cutting edge areas of media & entertainment.............................................................................His aim is to be highly regarded across the industry for his writing in these fields and ultimately become a full time critic in film &/or theatre.

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