Director: Ritesh Batra
Cast: Jim Broadbent, Charlotte Rampling, Harriet Walter, Freya Mavor, Michelle Dockery, Emily Mortimer
Running Time: 108 mins
Release Date: 14/04/2017
Adapted from the award-winning novel by Julian Barnes, THE SENSE OF AN ENDING is a reflective, poignant tale of lost love and redemption set in contemporary London.
Jim Broadbent is Tony Webster, a second-hand camera salesman, divorced from his wife Margaret (Harriet Walter) and struggling to build a relationship with his pregnant daughter Susie (Michelle Dockery). One day he receives a letter pertaining to the inheritance of some money and another item from a old female school friend, handling the estate of her recently deceased mother. Tony visits the legal firm handling the case and discovers that the item in question is a diary, which Tony is determined to discover the contents within. His obsession with the diary, plus his desire to reconnect with elements of his past, lays the foundation for self-discovery – and perhaps final closure in his life……
Director Ritesh Batra does his level best to keep the specifics of the novel for cinematic terms and Nick Payne‘s adaptation moves at a fair pace to keep the audience hooked. The flashbacks, which focus on the bond between the young Tony and his school friends, capture perfectly those nostalgic reflections of sixth form and teenage bonds that help to define the rest of our lives.
This is a competent, assured adaptation of a book, with everyone perfectly cast in their respective roles. Broadbent consistently shines in this type of role, not dissimilar to his role in Mike Leigh’s ANOTHER YEAR. He is backed up by solid support from Walter and Dockery, as well as Charlotte Rampling as the older Veronica and a neat, flirty performance from Emily Mortimer as Veronica’s mother.
There will inevitably be some debate about the level of screen time that the trio of female characters have in a film like this, but a movie thrives or dies on the strength of the individual story that is attempted to see fruition on the screen, irrespective of gender or race. THE SENSE OF AN ENDING ticks all those boxes – and certainly will provide a thoughtful addition to the Spring 2017 release schedule.