A sophisticated and exquisite look at crippling, uncontrollable, self-destructive passion and desire represented through a love triangle in post world war 2 Britain. Based on a Terrence Rattigan play.
Melodrama is kept in check and though it is a very dramatic piece, it never feels overboard in that department which is fine. Primarily because the director uses a stylish, operatic, non-linear approach towards camerawork and direction (the first 15 min or so specially are beautiful.) Good showcase for Rachel Weisz though she is not as consistent as some of the reviews made her to be. She is superb in some scenes but comes of a trying a bit too hard in others (the more loud, dramatic sections.)
The mournful, dark and moody cinematography is beautiful and conveys the mental state the main character is throughout the movie (some scenes are indeed creative) and goes with the disjointed, musical style of execution.
There is nothing much to cling to when all of this is over (or at least what one expected at the start.) The issue I had was that at one end the film is operatic and stylish but at the same time effort has been made to not be too melodramatic (melodrama is not always a bad adjective). It couldn't find a right balance and it ends up being neither. I haven't read the play but it seems a complex look at physical desire and passion from a female perspective that is not that flattering. The absolute focus is on the main character and the male roles suffer (the actors are also decent at best), both the husband and the lover are shallow and not fully developed. Basically the whole concentration and focus is on the female lead all the time, which is probably fine as that must be in the play and might look OK in theatre but here it makes it for a stagey (I know, another worn out criticism and specially a lazy one for a movie based on a play but this is what I felt ) adaptation. I couldn't hang on or root for the lead for 90+ minutes.
Having said that, it is a solid movie and I think worth checking out (looking forward to what others think of it here.) It somehow reminded me of 'The Painted Veil' (which I liked better.)
[spoiler]And what's up with that long, even more stagey looking, sequence during the war in the subway tunnel? It is definitely evocative of time and the city but what it is doing in the movie?[/spoiler]