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Movie Reviews

The End Of The Affair  

Cast
Maurice Bendrix (Ralph Fiennes)
Sarah Miles (Julianne Moore)
Henry Miles (Stephen Rea)
Parkis (Ian Hart)

Adapted for the screen and Directed by Neil Jordan
Rated R for strong sexuality and nudity
Running Time: 107 minutes Distributed by Columbia
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The End of the Affair is a typical and bothersome love story. The film takes place in 1946 and is narrated by the main character Maurice Bendrix (Fiennes). On one night in London, novelist Maurice Bendrix has an unplanned friendly encounter with Henry Miles (Rea), who is the husband of Maurice's ex-mistress Sarah (Moore). Maurice and Sarah's affair ended abruptly two years before Maurice and Henry's encounter. As the meeting between the two concludes, Bendrix's obsession with Sarah is reborn. He then succumbs to his own jealously and hires an investigator to follow her. As the investigation proceeds, Bendrix begins to reappear in Sarah's life. Sarah then realizes that her secret of their ending affair is unable to keep from Bendrix. Leading Sarah and Bendrix to question and struggle for their realization of love.

The End of the Affair is a carefully directed drama with pretty good actors, but the story and sequencing are what brings this film down.

Neil Jordan adapted and directed The End of the Affair. Jordan's previous credits include The Crying Game, Interview with the Vampire, Michael Collins, and The Butcher Boy. Jordan continues his stylish work with The End of the Affair. Overall, I found the film's direction pretty simple and well done. I did like the rainy atmosphere that Jordan presented and the passionate scenes between Maurice and Sarah. However, a lot of Jordan's jumping back and forth through the past and present in the film did become confusing to me.

As far as for Jordan's script, it was pretty shabby. The writing is full of weak dialogue and slow transitions. I also found the script very complicating, just like a few other adapted from book to screen movies of late. Writers have just been trying to put so many aspects into their adaptations of books. A few successful book to screen movies this year were The Green Mile, Angela's Ashes, The Cider House Rules and Girl, Interrupted. These movies worked because the writers carefully chose the aspects that were most important to the story and stuck with it in the script. Unlike The End of the Affair, and a few other movies this year such as Snow Falling on Cedars and The Talented Mr. Ripley. These films were all too confusing and complicating because the writers tried to bring in so many subplots into two hours of screen time. Adaptations of novels seem to be either really good of late, or really bad. Okay, enough of me complaining about adaptations and now back to the review.

Julianne Moore is stunning and elegant as Sarah. Moore has just been an amazing actress this year. Ralph Fiennes is a very good actor, but he just takes so long to deliver his lines. He practically plays the same character in The End of the Affair as he did in The English Patient. In addition to his slow speech, I found his performance mellow.

The End of the Affair is a drawn out and poorly adapted movie. I do not see this film doing any damage in ticket sales at the box office. I just don't believe this film will click well with many audiences.

Report Card Grade: D+

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