On the Big Board
||I forgot that "enduring" can also be a verb
||My biggest disappointment of the year. A pale shadow of the book.
Adapted from Ian McEwan's novel, Enduring Love begins by showing a young man named Joe Rose (Road to Perdition's Daniel Craig) who has planned an exquisite afternoon in the British countryside to celebrate his girlfriend Clarissa's (Samantha Morton) return a six-week stint in the United States. The scene is practically out of a postcard - a helium balloon even drifts across the lushly wooded valley.
This beautiful picture quickly takes a turn for the strange and ugly when the balloon attempts to land, though. The pilot catches his leg in the anchor rope while his passenger, a young boy, is far too afraid to jump down. Suddenly, the wind starts whipping and Joe and a group of four other men rush to secure the basket.
Nature, unfortunately, is cruel, and sends off a violent gust of wind that viciously knocks the balloon up in the air. The rescuers find themselves airborne, and while four of the five men are able to drop to the ground, one man is lifted up into the air and ultimately falls to his death. Ironically, the balloon winds up landing safely and the boy escapes unharmed.
On its own, that accident should have been more than enough to effect the survivor's lives, just as is the case in any such incident. But the incident has even more far-reaching impact for Joe, whose chance eye contact with fellow rescuer Jed Parry (Rhys Ifans) has far-reaching consequences. Jed is instantly obsessed with Joe, and begins incessantly making phone calls to Joe and Clarissa's London flat, following Joe as he traverses the city and writing him an endless barrage of maniacal letters. And Jed's obsession has a devastating effect on Joe and Clarissa's relationship.
An unusual project to be sure, this story is a strange, overwhelming nightmare that journeys into the fantasy world of stalkers and shows how it impacts perception and expectation. With such an outstanding cast and fascinating subject matter, it's certainly a movie to keep radared. (Kim Hollis/BOP)