It was a scandalous romance set in post war Germany with Keira Knightly and the couple that I was rooting for didn’t end up together, so it was exactly the movie that I expected. What I didn’t expect was to have the Michigan Theater main auditorium basically to myself when I watched it. It was my first time seeing a movie in the main auditorium (I saw Rocky Horror there but that was a performance so it doesn’t count) and I was pretty excited since that room is gorgeous, but the experience was a little disappointing. The only people in the room were the projector operator who kept wiping the projector lens during the commercials, my friend and I, and a couple halfway back in the theater. While I was originally excited at the concept of having the place to myself, it actually detracted from the experience. With such a large room and so few bodies to absorb the sound it was echoey and made things a bit difficult to understand occasionally.
As for the movie itself, I enjoyed just as much as an romantic drama set in another time period, but it wasn’t fantastic. My main complaint is that it felt abrupt and choppy. The romance between the main characters developed out of nowhere, hatred between the daughter and Keira Knightly’s character turned to friendship in a matter of seconds, an awkward sex scene turned into full-fledged love in the course of a couple days. It just felt like the story did not give these relationships enough time to develop. Also, I hated the ending. I love happy endings, I want everything to go exactly the way that they make you want them to go. Given this fact, its not surprising that I like romantic comedies, but it makes my relationship with dramas fraught. Keira Knightly and her husband have been apart for years during the war and they agree that the death of their son destroyed their relationship. It felt like they were agreeing that separation was for the best. Anyone from the outside could agree. And yet, she chooses to leave the man that is making her happier than she has been in years for the marriage she already decided was over. While I am not condoning cheating or affairs, sometimes people need to leave relationships that aren’t healthy anymore for new ones and that isn’t always an easy thing to navigate. It would be great if dramas could catch up with the times to display romantic relationships as the complex, unique phenomena that they are.
Image courtesy of rogerebert.com.