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Movie review: "Atonement"

Movie review: "Atonement"

January 29, 2008|By By ADELINE CUMPATA / Pulse Correspondent

"Atonement" is a film adapted from Ian McEwan's novel with the same name. The film drags a bit in the beginning; the same two scenes are repeated in two different ways to create a "nostalgic" effect on the audience, but nonetheless are not very captivating.

However, I can assure you that the rest of the film beyond the first half hour is superb. Steeped in the misinterpretations of the heart, the theme of "Atonement" is that true love is indestructible. Cecilia Tallis (Keira Knightly) and Robbie Turner (James McAvoy) fall deeply in love but their love is compromised by a foolish act by Cecilia's sister, Briony Tallis, (Saoirse Ronan) as she lies about her eye-witness account of a scandalous act.

As childhood love is destroyed by childish fancies and true lovers are torn apart by familial lies and war, not even forgiveness can mend one's past, frayed by jealousy and uncertainty.

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If you have ever seen or read the Jane Austen movies or novels, respectively, "Atonement" is similar in scope but different in theme. Unlike other British novel-film adaptations, "Atonement" steps out of the boundaries of Victorian era gossip and mischief and brings the audience into a 20th-century perspective of love and loss from 1935 through World War II. This film is a fantastic reminder that even accidental mistakes in childhood, however earnest, can impact one's future profoundly.

I highly recommend this film for mature audiences because there is one major graphic scene, but otherwise I believe there is much to learn from this film about ourselves and our daily impact upon others.

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