5 May 2005 | gurghi-2
Where's The Rabbit?
Notwithstanding its popularity, just how bad a match for "Notting Hill" was Roger Michell? "Changing Lanes" was about as substantial as a studio thriller can be; somebody ought to give this guy at a good, commercial chiller that isn't masquerading as anything else. He'd knock it out of the park. The opening sequence and the climax of "Enduring Love" are startlingly effective, and held me in rapt attention as no two scenes in any film the past year. If "Enduring Love" finally proves less than the sum of its parts, well at least there was some math involved.
No doubt Ian McEwan's novel provides the film with what depth it has; the ideas aren't original (Daniel Craig's professor is the kind of talking-head that should exasperate anyone) but their intersections are provocative. How much stress can we take, just how tenuous are our ties?
At its core it is no more than a stalker movie with art-house pretensions, but at least the trials of the main character are less a result of his own transgressions (unlike the the all-time champion in the genre, "Fatal Attraction," which can be boiled down to, Don't commit adultery!). "Enduring Love" demonstrates just how fragile our relationships can be, and how useless rationality is in the face of obsession, or even genuine affection. That its outcome seems inevitable only increases the tension.
In movies today, Rhys Ifans practically has a patent on a certain brand of loser. This one's got an actual (albeit rare) disorder to blame, not that the movie stops (or bothers) to explain that for us or to differentiate, as it does for marriage and infatuation, between fanaticism and faith: it's the part Mr. Ifans was born-again to play!
Most unfortunate are the Psycho-esquire score and the coda, which is a head-scratcher: is there going to be a sequel? I don't think so.
The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows" will never sound the same. Of course, that only goes to show that you can ruin any pop song by putting it in the mouth of a movie psycho.