Sunday, November 8, 2009

atonement or not...

right after my previous post about the movie "atonement" I checked the internet to find out what I missed. perhaps seeing it in the movie wouldn't be such a let down as reading it, but here goes...

SPOILER WARNING! if, for some reason, you desire to see the movie "atonement" be advised: spoilers. also, I did check multiple sources, but I can't say of everything that I "sarw" it with my own eyes.

o.k., so here's the thing. there's no atonement in this movie. I haven't read the book so perhaps some atonement happens in it. if not, wtf? did someone just think this was a neat sounding word?

basically, there's a rich family. when the housekeeper's husband ran off, the rich folks educated her son. his name is robbie and he wants to be a doctor.

the rich people have a son (oldest), a chain-smoking college coed daughter (robbie's love interest), and a daughter who's 12 or so and fancies herself a writer.

they also have houseguests. a sleazy college buddy of the son. their three red-haired cousins have arrived to weather the scandal of their parents' divorce. so, two bratty boys and their catty 15-year-old sister.

so our snoopy writer first sees her sister and robbie out by the fountain. to her, it appears that robbie somehow made sis strip down to her slip and go into the fountain before she leaves. a very strange thing to do and, of course, not really what happened. the sister did all that on her own and was only annoyed that a vase got broken.

then robbie writes to apologize. he indulges hs lustful fantasies before scrawling out his apology and, naturally, he puts the wrong letter in the envelope. then he gets the snoop the deliver it. too late, he realizes what he gave her. his letter worked wonders on the sister who promptly sexes him up in the library.

alas, the older sister failed to do damage control about the letter and she also fails to lock the door. so, the snoop is figuring robbie is a sex maniac.

then, the bratty twins are found to have run away. the household turns out to shine flashlights into the darkness and yell the boys' names.

the snoop wandering about on her own comes across a shocking scene. some man doing someTHING to the girl cousin. the girl cousin claims she doesn't know who it was, but the snoop is positive it was robbie.

so police are summoned, the snoop swears out testimony, the older sister says not to believe her and takes a long smokebreak, then the snoop presents the LETTER as evidence. meanwhile, the the sleazy male houseguest takes a post rape snooze. no one finds his behavior odd.

when robbie shows up with the twins (having cleverly searched somewhere other than the front yard), he's immediately arrested and dragged off to jail.

years pass and england gets involved in the beginnings of world war ii. both sisters (separately) spend some time in the nursing program. but somehow for the snoop this is a bigger deal because she "gave up her place at cambridge to do something practical." (yes, no one else has ever given anything up because of a huge, massive war.)

and then nothing until after 20 best sellers, she writes about this incident. it's something like 1999. her sister and robbie both died during the war. by this time, practically everyone they ever knew has died. and miss snoop, with one foot in the grave, writes a book explaining to no one in particular that robbie was innocent all along. she even has found out that her cousin is marrying the sleazy rapist.

she made up the scene where she told the truth so robbie and her sister would have "the happy ending they never got." even though it meant he died with a rape conviction to his name and she died estranged for her family for what they did to robbie.

so, what is the point we're supposed to get anyway?

3 comments:

Allen the Duck Guy said...

Hollywood loves to make these high minded movies and then pat themselves on the back for their cleverness. Like that movie Doubt (in which there is no doubt the priest is inevitable fucking the little boy- of course he is! Isn't that what ALL Hollywood has to say about priests?), Atonement sounds like a pretentious, self important bunch fo crap.
Movies like that are very easy to direct and to act. After all, not a damned thing happens in them. Talking heads and emo angsting do not a movie make. If I'm going to shell out $20 to see a film, I want an experience, not something I could have written in two pages on my own.

shampoo said...

not only that, but we all experience disappointment and guilt. about the only one who does anything particularly unusual is robbie who goes from a high society dinner party to jail to fighting in the french countryside to dying of an infected war wound (which if he'd wanted to be a doctor it seems he would have known not to leave it unbandaged). but, each of those things have done by millions and all by thousands. yet, he's the only one who atones. we only get two scenes from his memory with his chain smoker in london. she seems sad, but happy again that she's found him. so... the only one who NOTHING BAD HAPPENED TO is the one supposedly atoning. oh well, she gets some sort of ailment when she's 90 that's going to eventually kill her. hello? most people do eventually get something.

shampoo said...

you know ... I just realized... the writer lady could have made it more atoning if she'd said the fictional scene is what she wishes she'd been brave enough to do. but she wasn't. but she doesn't say that. she says something like "why be honest? I gave them a happy ending." no you didn't bitch. you would have only REALLY given them a happy ending (in the book she wrote) if this had never happened. if her snoopy ass had said FROM THE START she wasn't sure who the man was (e.g., the truth). then robbie probably wouldn't have been arrested since there was no particular reason to suspect him.