Something I’m Passionate About…4: The Movie “Atonement”

It is very rare that a movie like Atonement comes along and makes me completely involve in the story for hours after I have seen it. It’s amazing, stunning, and really powerful.

Based on Lan McEwan’s award-winning novel of the same name, the movie Atonement tells a story of a beautiful but sad British romance that spans several decades.

The story began in the hot and restless summer in 1935 in England. The upper class Cecilia Tallis is in love with the family servant Robbie Turner. After witnessing series of affairs between them, Briony Tallis, Cecilia’s 13-year-old sister, who is passionate about writing, misinterprets those innocent acts she actually doesn’t fully understand and believes that Robbie is a sex maniac. And then, when her cousin is raped in a night, the courses of several lives were irrevocably changed by Briony’s false accusation of Robbie…

Love, war, regret, endless waiting and life-long atonement.

Several years later, when Briony realized the meaning of love, the truth of that crime, and the result of what she did, everything is late. In the movie, there are so many parallel storylines and so many fantasy scenes of apology and reunion, but…

I really hope Briony can get a chance to set things right. I really hope there is a happy ending waiting for Cecilia and Robbie. However, that is not always the case. In 1999, when Briony has become a successful novelist, she revealed the truth: Although Cecilia and Robbie are reunited in her novel, they were not in reality.

“I never made that journey to Balham. So the scene in which I confess to them is invented, imagined. And, in fact, could never have happened….because Robbie Turner died of septicaemia at Bray Dunes on the first of June 1940, the last day of the evacuation…and I was never able to put things right with my sister Cecilia….because she was killed on the 15th of October, 1940 by the bomb that destroyed the gas and water mains above Balham tube station. So, my sister and Robbie were never able to have the time together they both so longed for… and deserved. Which ever since I’ve… ever since I’ve always felt I prevented. But what sense of hope or satisfaction could a reader derive from an ending like that? So in the book, I wanted to give Robbie and Cecilia what they lost out on in life. I’d like to think this isn’t weakness or… evasion… but a final act of kindness. I gave them their happiness.”

——By Briony

Atonement. Remorseful Brionyspent all her lives atoning for her sins. Should her atonement be accepted? Accepted by whom?

“I love you. Come back, come back to me.”

“I’ll return. Find you, love you, marry you, and live without shame.”

When Cecilia’s voice mingles with Robbie’s words, atonement is no longer important; what really matters, is love, because…

Love is forever.

Atonement: Official Trailer

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One thought on “Something I’m Passionate About…4: The Movie “Atonement”

  1. I love that movie! The impression I got though is that Briony knows Robert isn’t a rapist, but she lied about it because she was jealous that he liked her sister and not her.

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