Liveblogging(-ish) Atonement: The End
The ending of Atonement does give another dimension to the movie (and, to be fair, it’s really interesting). Exploring the idea of fiction vs. reality is really cool. However, it’s all crammed into the final scenes of Atonement. Therefore, a good hour and forty minutes of the movie is spent kind of sort of fleshing out a really weak love story between Rob and Cecilia. This is a shit ton of buildup for a very brief payoff.
If the movie really wanted to look at the author’s role in constructing a story or fiction vs. reality, why wasn’t there more of a focus on how Briony dealt with the consequences of her actions? After the rape, the movie focuses on Rob and Cecilia, so the movie becomes about examining a couple’s relationship after they have experienced a traumatizing and life-changing event. If the movie had instead focused on Briony, the story would be about the decay of Briony’s conscience until she breaks down and changes the ending of the story as a form of atonement (punpunpun). Which, in my opinion, would be a more interesting and rewarding story.
I mean, I get why Atonement appeals to some people. But I definitely think it’s overrated, and I also think people (and I’m guilty of this too) try to gloss over its rough patches because, again, it has some good qualities. At the end of the day, however, Atonement had all of the tools to become a great movie, but none of these qualities can compensate for how boring the movie becomes (there, I said it) when you don’t give a flying fuck about the relationship that carries a good majority of the movie.