Some years ago I read the first chapter of ‘Enduring Love’ by Ian McEwan. It was riveting from the first sentence. The Roger Michell-directed film is just the same.
From the very outset, I knew I was in for a special experience with Enduring Love. The only other thing I knew about the production was that Samantha Morton was in it. I’ve never seen Morton (Minority Report, Morvern Caller, In America) put on a bad performance, so I was bound to see this film sooner or later.
Thank your own personal higher power that I saw it on the big screen. Enduring Love is a feast for the eyes. The cinematography is inspiring, drawing from seemingly disparate techniques, from sprawling landscapes to sharp, slow motion moves and frenzied hand held sequences. This is easily the best shot film I’ve seen thus far in 2005. It constantly reminded me of the work of Tom Tykwer, so it will come as little surprise to Mark that I enjoyed it so much. More importantly, Enduring Love featured the best blue/greenscreen I have ever seen. It astounds me that a big budget action extravaganza can fail at the age old technique of greenscreen (think Treebeard carrying Merry and Pippin in The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers), yet this highbrow love story can succeed.
The performances are brilliant. Morton is great as always, Daniel Craig is perfect in the lead, and Bill Nighy is actually watchable (as opposed to his annoying character in Love Actually). Finally, Rhys Ifans plays a bit of a strange fellow (surprise surprise).
The score, pacing and editing of Enduring Love all complement each other perfectly, and at times this film was seamless. My only disappointment was with the denouement – it feels like it simply sold itself short after presenting such a complex and eerie tone. Maybe this is the same as the book, however I felt it was a bit of a letdown.
Is love something to withstand, or something that is everlasting? Enduring Love is like cinematic prose, detailing how an obsession with a single concept can lead to disaster. A splendid film.Rating: