Sunday, November 15, 2009

Atonement..You can only imagine the truth

Atonement implies making amends for a wrong doing. Here the atonement is being made by Briony Tallis, a 13 year old precocious girl who lives with on her family estate with her mother and sister(Cecilia Tallis/Keira Knightley).She is shown to be an avid writer.

Robbie(James McAvoy) is the family's servants' son whose education at Cambridge was kindly paid by the Tallis family. In an encounter between Robbie and Cecilia near the fountain, both of them realise the attraction and heat they both feel for each other, but the same encounter witnessed by Briony from the window is mistaken by her. Also because Robbie is Briony's crush.

After the fountain incident, Briony reads a letter intended for Cecilia and concludes that Robbie is a sex maniac as the letter was quite sexually explicit.Robbie never meant to send that version of the letter but mistakenly does. Robbie arrives for dinner at their house. He and Cecilia discuss the letter and admit their love for one another. They make passionate love in the library but are discovered by Briony

When Briony' cousin Lola is raped, she tells the police that it was Robbie she saw committing the deed when in fact it was a visitor to the estate.

A Wounded and vexed Briony deliberately gives witness against Robbie without realising its repercussions. Robbie is taken as a war soldier, an option given to prisoners. Cecilia becomes a nurse warden, Robbie and Cecilia meet before Robbie goes on the duty of war, Cecilia wants him to come back.

The immense feeling of love that both feel for each other. The postcard that Cecilia give Robbie to remind him of her. Alas, Robbie dies on the last day of evacuation and Cecilia died a few months later when a German bomb burst a water main and flooded the subway tunnel in which she and other Londoners had taken refuge during the Blitz.

In the climax, Briony is shown in a TV interview in which she is talking about her 21st novel Atonement, which is also her last novel as she is dying. Atonement is an autobiographical novel in which she has tried to give the happiness to her sister Cecilia and Robbie which she so prevented them from having in real life. The scene when she goes to meet her sister to say how terribly sorry she was for having given the wrong evidence, the audience might think happened really. But here in the interview, its clarified that she never had the guts to do that.

She wanted to have a happy ending for both of them in her book to atone of her sins. The movie ends with a happy scene.Robbie and Cecilia walk down the beach on a bright, beautiful day. On the steps of the seaside cottage, they look at the beautiful white cliffs, then disappear inside.

What an extraordinary atonement..a heart wrenching story..

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