4 June 2017 | clivehodges
A tale of memory, guilt and regret
The movie, adapted from a slim novel by Julian Barnes, is a tale of memory, guilt and regret. At the centre of the story is Tom, a divorced man in his late 60s, who leads a life of oppressive sameness. He receives a letter from a solicitor and Tom's routine is interrupted.
From flashbacks to the 1960s, we learn he was involved with a lass called Veronica and met Adrian, a charismatic student. A thoughtless act leads to, or may not have led to, tragedy.
How much of Tom's history (shown in the flashbacks) is true and how much is a distortion of his memory, is open to question.
Meanwhile, Tom's life in the present continues. His daughter is close to giving birth which means regular meetings with his former wife. This gives Tom an opportunity to discuss the past. By staying alert and listening in to the conversations closely and watching the flashbacks carefully, clues emerge for us to discern the truth.
Six fellow film fans and I saw the movie together and met for lunch afterwards. Our interpretations differed. An indication that we'd seen an exceptional film.
There were things we agreed on: the ensemble cast was outstanding; the editing was first-rate; the music unobtrusive; and the director's touch admirable.
Various actions of the major characters and possible actions not actually shown on screen were raised and analysed with the results agreed to by some, rejected by others.
It's not a film for everyone
but for those who enjoy a movie where clues are given but interpretations are left to the viewer, this one's for you.
It's a movie that stays with you for days.