29 August 2014 | Nozz
Has someone ever told you a joke and forgotten the beginning?
I understand I'm not the only one who reacted to the heroine's inexplicable behavior not with an intrigued hope of learning more in the course of the movie, but with a disgruntled assumption that no explanation was forthcoming. At least no more than in, say, LAST TANGO IN Paris, which this movie somewhat resembles-- woman secretly meeting older and uncommunicative man from time to time to cheat on her more suitable partner. However, I kept watching because although I haven't read the novel, it's by a respected writer; and the lead actress has a good reputation. Not because there was any character that the audience could sympathize with. Eventually some exposition of the characters' background was produced, basically in the form of sheer monologue rather than being cinematically integrated, but the exposition came too late. A movie that engaged more audience sympathy might have led people to say "Aha, now I understand and I must see this again from the beginning." But this isn't a movie that engages the audience in that way (maybe it engages you by the photography, if that's something you to go the movies for) and those who do watch it till the end may not be eager to do so again. So it's sort of like hearing a joke and then, just before the punch line, being told "Oh, I should have mentioned that the guy was hunting a bear in the forest."