Director: Ritesh Batra
Starring: Jim Broadbent, Charlotte Rampling, Harriet Walter, Michelle Dockery, Matthew Goode, Emily Mortimer, Edward Holcroft, Billy Howle, Joe Alwyn, Freya Mavor, Peter Wight, Andrew Buckley, Nick Mohammed, Karina Fernandez.
This was one of those films that snuck up out of nowhere, trailers hitting the big screens about a month before release. It certainly spurred my interest, looking like a story about guilt, regrets and possibly rediscovery. The trailer giving off an aroma of intrigue and controversy.
Ritesh Batra, director of the highly acclaimed romantic dramedy, The Lunchbox adapts the titular novel written by Julian Barnes. A story about a man who receives a letter from the past spurning him on a path of self discovery as he attempts to reconnect with his history and past misgivings.
Jim Broadbent takes the lead role and I can safely say, this is, by far his defining performance, taking centre stage for once. Being the key character and main focus for the story, he emits an honest portrayal of an aging man who is confronted by his past, mostly by his own self, only seeing now, for the first time, the bloom of the actions he planted all those years ago.
It's a good representation of a typical stubborn man's life at an age with fairly common traits of being divorced, being a father and possibly harbouring a secret like many of us probably do. Broadbent seems to be entirely at ease in his role and does his character a great credit. However, I am guilty of not knowing the book so I could be wrong in saying it's a true representation of the character.
The supporting cast is good, but they really are just supporting with little much else than allowing the main character to have someone interact with. Rampling isn't innit long enough to warrant any great praise. But Walter's Mrs Webster, his ex-wife, does provide some good grounding for the troubled man.
Batra does a grand job, not allowing the story to drag, it's superbly captured but is nothing more than a drama and now having seen the film after the trailers, I find it lacks the impact and was expecting something more. It's not wholly predictable and is cleverly written, but when all becomes clear, I felt somewhat disappointed with the outcome. Not really a film worthy of the big screen, but certainly worth time just for Broadbent's lead role.
Running Time: 7
The Cast: 7
Job Description: 4
The Extra Bonus Point: 5 for Jim Broadbent's performance.
Would I buy the Blu-ray?: No.