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3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5 out of 5 stars
Enduring Love [DVD] [2004]
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VINE VOICEon 26 May 2010
For any production team it was going to be a challenge to create an equally successful film to the much acclaimed novel. Enjoyable and entertaining as the film is, you feel slightly short changed compared to what the book has to offer.

So what about the first scene. Does it live up to McEwen's gripping first chapter? The answer is yes. Beauty and tragedy are both captured in one breathtaking scene. A far cry from your Blockbuster action packed opening, the surreal silence of the events that occur in the first few shots appeals to the ordinary. There are no hero's, no dramatic music or sign of Hollywood. The normality of it all creates the disturbing feeling that this is real life being played out.

One of the major disappointments of this adaptation is the change of Clarissa, a Literature Lecture with romantic viewpoints on life and love, to a young artist named Claire. The contrasts between Clarissa and scientific Joe are beautifully presented in the novel which is therefore somewhat lost in the film. Nevertheless, Samantha Morton (Claire) and Daniel Craig (Joe) present a believable performance and you are drawn in to see the complex struggles both have coping with the existence of Jed (Rhys Ifans).

The beautiful score and edgy photography adds to the quality of this chilling physiological thriller. With an all-star cast and strong production it will captivate and entertain you but don't substitute it for the book as you'll be missing out!
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on 17 January 2015
Associate producer: Ian McEwan. You really need to bear that in mind before you criticise the film for its deviations from the book. There's not much actual story anywhere here, if the ugly truth be known, but good storytelling can more than make up for that, and both McEwan's novel and this film do so, in very different ways. It only really suffers for being shoe-horned into 90 minutes, so a reasonable intelligence and imagination are called for in extrapolating what you see and hear into the myriad complexities of any number of mundane and extraordinary lives. I watched all the special features on my copy, and it's rare that a film reaches deeply enough inside me to make me do that.
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on 31 December 2011
Enduring Love is an alarming and Genuinely Uncommon British thriller with an artistic cast delivering the picture perfect proformances for their roles!!
As far as I am concerned Daniel Craig in his best on screen proformance yet delivers one heck of an emotional proformance.

plot summary!! A freak ballooning accident leaves Joe (Daniel Craig)with guilt and thinking the death of the guy in the balloon is his fault for letting go of the rope first. Jed a witness from the accident becomes dangerously obessed with Joe which leads to all hell breaking loose and an emotional fight for Joe to stay sane becomes almost too much to deal with leading down a very violent path!! there is a lot more to it but if I go into the entire story I will be giving too much away.
I also am a bit upset by all the bad reviews as this film is brilliant and should of one some awards but didnt!!

its funny,moving,incredible,depressing,harrowing,dark,thrilling,inspiring,dramatic,nail biting,chilling,in parts horrific,very entertaining in a bizzare and stylish form and there is just no way you would want to miss it.


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on 14 July 2012

That one overwhelming interjection epitomises how frustrating and annoying, people and human nature can often be!

When AAARGGHH...could be replaced instead with profanities in typing this out to EXPRESS the emotions more VIVIDLY to describe this film in better detail!

In real life!

Yes...for me, this film hits those nerves!
You can REALLY feel for Daniel Craigs character in this bewildering assault on his senses by the person who comes TRAMPLING into his life.....and more frustrating that his partner.....JUST DOESN'T GET IT!

She does in the end though.

Don't watch it if you've ever been stalked. Don't watch it if you intend having a romantic dvd night, and don't watch it if you've had, or are facing a crappy day.

But if you want to scream at someone to get out of your face, or let out some other personal, emotional, anger or conflict management.....then watch it.

If only to view it entirely from Craigs character viewpoint...that's about the only and best parts of the film, and they are brilliant....the rest is pretty drab....but that's life!
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on 22 May 2005
Having never read Ian McEwan's original novel from which this film is based, I can't rightly judge whether or not this was a successful adaptation. However, I can say that as a standalone work, Enduring Love is one of the more interesting films to be released within the last couple of years and, as a successful British film, is one to rank alongside other recent UK successes like Dead Man's Shoes and Vera Drake. Having watched the film a couple of times, I was left with the urge to go away and discover McEwan's original novel (as was the case when I saw the film adaptation of his other key-work, The Cement Garden), as the film, although highly interesting and emotionally engaging, certainly left me asking a lot of questions.
The opening scene really sets the mood and pace (and of course, the plot) for the rest of the film... not to mention standing as one of the most exciting, engaging and downright jaw-dropping moments of visceral, cinematic tension-building that I've seen in a long time. Here, director Roger Michell juxtaposes the lush greenery of the Oxfordshire countryside - with it's rolling hills and vast, ocean-like sky - with a billowing, blood red, hot-air-balloon, waving as dangerously as the frantic, hand-held cameras that capture the action. The editing is punchy and creates a rhythm that works towards heightening the confusion felt by the characters, as the quiet, countryside picnic of writer/professor Joe and his sculptress girlfriend Claire is disrupted by the sight of the balloon, and the appalling tragedy to come. As the story progresses, the couple try to put the event to the back of their minds and carry on as normal with their comfortable, bourgeois lives of luncheons, dinner-parties & work-related accolades, however, when another one of the witnesses to the event contacts Joe out of the blue, we see the beginnings of a bizarre and dangerous relationship that will push all three protagonists beyond the regular boundaries of reasonability.
Some have likened the film to something like Fatal Attraction, with the idea of obsession and guilt both featuring as central to both... however, for me, Enduring Love was much more of a treatise on the nature of love, and the whys and wherefores of such. For example, it is important to note that Joe is a professor who studies the nature of love, and the human qualities one would require to endure love, when, in reality, it is the unhinged and unwanted fellow witness Jed that really understands the true sense of blind obsession, so central to such feelings.
The style of the film manages to be both low-key and visually distinctive, with Michell employing a style similar to his previous film, The Mother, with hand-held cameras that offer a reality - but also, manage to convey the wavering uncertainty and voyeuristic intrusion so central to the plot - coupled with staccato editing, optical filters, rich composition and an extraordinary use of locations (all captured in glorious 2:35.1 widescreen). The performances are of an extremely high calibre as well, with Daniel Craig bringing a smug-pomposity, but also a vulnerability to his role of the logical professor pushed to an illogical limit, whilst Samantha Morton offers support as the bewildered Claire, who has to question Joe's mental stability as he begins obsessing about the accident and his newly acquired "friend". However, much more impressive, if only for the fact that he delivers a performance completely against every other role I've ever seen him attempt, is Rhys Ifans, who embodies the lonely and perhaps somewhat disturbed Jed with a quiet, contemplative spirit that goes against the kind of melodramatic, raving lunatics found in similar, Hollywood endeavours.
The interplay between the three characters is wonderfully handled by Michell, who paces the film deliberately, so that the relationships only becomes truly apparent over a gradual period of time. Now, this may infuriate some viewers who expect a much quicker film that gets straight to the point, but I for one admired the gradual build and felt that it made the relationship between Joe and Jed much more metaphysical (bringing up all kinds of questions about fragmented personalities, two-halves of the same soul, repressed guilt, angst, sexual frustration and schizophrenia), whilst also forcing us to question who is really insane? This is just one question that the film left me with as the credits began to roll, with Michell and screenwriter Joe Penhall leaving a lot of minor-details unresolved, thus, allowing the audience to fill in the blanks. Again, this may annoy some viewers... and I must admit, I myself was left scratching my head on a number of occasions (not least, the scene that takes place after the final credits), but having gone back and watched the film a second time you realise that so much of the emotional background and the character motivation is there in those great performances.
It's certainly a film that will leave you with something to think about, if not only the relationship between the characters, then certainly the rationality of them leading up to that tense, edge-of-the-seat final. For me, Enduring Love was a great film that kept me interested throughout and left me with a lot of questions that have been running through my mind over the last couple of weeks. I appreciate the fact that a lot of viewers seek some kind of emotional resolution from a film, but I feel that people who don't necessarily expect every single loose end to be neatly tucked away by the end credits - or those that enjoy thinking about both the characters and the story once the film has come to a close - will certainly enjoy and appreciate this.
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on 13 March 2015
Yesterday I found a copy of this in a skip in Crouch End and seeing the starry array of thesps involved, took it home to watch. Well, being as it is adapted from an Ian McEwan story, it could easily be an interesting bit of contemporary Brit cinema, I thought. In a way, it is too. It's strikingly awful.

Extremely glossy (excellent cinematography) and art directed/styled to the tits, this production does its best to craft a screen equivalent to McEwan's distinctively 'artificial' literary voice. A bit of a tall order that, but I thought The Ploughman's Lunch (back in the 80s) pulled it off quite well, so I can see why the producers might have believed this project was in with a decent chance.

Unfortunately, what we get here is a highly mannered, self-consciously 'arty' attempt at dramatic intensity in which loads and loads and loads of acting goes on, for what seems like an eternity, in the service of an over-wrought, stilted naturalism.

I couldn't get on with the script's contrived melodrama at all. The story starts with a bang but then just gets saggy and silly and totally unconvincing. The artificiality of the directorial style cranks-up as the attempt at intensity builds towards the climax --all of which has a distancing effect I thought a bit reminiscent of the most pretentious French cinema.

Well before the end, I didn't care less what happened to the annoyingly metro-class stereotypes and the corny outsider/stalker figure character at the centre of the piece.

And so back to the skip.
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on 15 November 2007
Central performances verge on the cringe-making, the narrative is fairly slight but still manages to be ineptly handled, and there's more! The occasional glimmer of an imaginative bit of editing can't hope to disguise what were a succession of earnest but unconvincing dialogues. There is a constant sense that here is a low, low, low budget London-backed film that is serving as nothing more than a vehicle to occupy the time of a stretch limo load of light to middlewight drama luvvies lacking in any other gainful employment. Shameful to think that once Brit movies had at least some subtlety and style if not much cash. This is outclassed by those made for TV American 'relationship issue' movies which are without any of the pretension but are more relevant and involving.
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on 27 December 2014
I studied this book in English and thought it would be a good idea to get the film so I would know the basis of the book. Although the film is very different from the book I thought it was excellent Daniel Craig made a fantastic Joe and Rhys Ifans has the most amazing interpretation of Jed Parry, there is even a sneaky little appearance from Ben Wishshaw! Defiantly love this quirky film!
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on 4 September 2010
I watched this film after reading the book and I think I would have enjoyed more if I hadn't read the book beforehand as quite a lot of plot details have been changed or missed out. However, it is still a very good film and I would definitely recommend it for a gripping, dark and original storyline and amazing performances from Daniel Craig and Rhys Ifans. A really good film.
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on 9 November 2016
As a film it's ok. However, although the book has its flaws, it has some wonderfully engaging episodes and is full of dread and weirdness which never really convinces here except in the fairly (only fairly) faithful portrayal of the obnoxious Jed by Rhys Ifans. Why has Clarissa been changed to Claire? What that does is reduce the class consciousness of the novel to triviality. Jed's place of abode for instance is changed from an inherited home in Frognal Lane (as I remember) Hampstead to a dump in which, like a thousand crappy thrillers, he has a 'shrine' to his victims. It could do with a four-part tv drama adaptation in which the slow-burn of the book is given proper creepy build-up. Why has she become a sculptor - why has he become the university lecturer? Oh I bet they had fun chatting about it all in the Serpentine Restaurant. De Clérambault's syndrome is never mentioned except by implication in a 30 second 'internet investigation' which solves the puzzle. I'm liking it less and less as I write!
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