Soniah Kamal

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'Islam is not Pakistan's religion; Marriage is'

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

'Atonement'- the film

It's tough for novels with complex structures to translate well onto film; Ian McEwan's 'Atonement' is no exception. The film is beyond insipid when compared to the rich novel which I loved for its dexterous structure and surprise 'writer's writer's' ending, and especially the kids performing protagonist Briony's old play-- a fitting symbol for the circularity of life, and creativity. Consequently I went to watch the film eagerly awaiting a rendition of this scene and, instead, got Vanessa Redgrave giving a monologue i.e. not just cop out, but also complete murder of the novel. Had I not read the novel and been so full of expectation, I would still have been disappointed despite the fine cinematography and acting and costumes etc...I went to watch it with a friend who has not read the novel and she had the same issues with it as did I--a slow middle, a dragging war scene, times twists that were poorly (if at all) captured on celluloid...
Am a bit perplexed over Atonement's Oscar nomination in the best film category.

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