Review by Gordon Justesen
Daniel Craig, Rhys Ifans, Samantha Morton, Bill Nighy
Director: Roger Michell
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Surround
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1
Features: See Review
Length: 100 Minutes
Release Date: May 3, 2005
ONLY KNOWS WHAT I’D BE…WITHOUT YOU!”
Had it not been for
the coming attractions trailer I manage to catch for Enduring Love, the movie may have slipped right past me. However,
had I’d never seen the trailer prior to watching the movie; the experience
would’ve been twice as exhilarating. The trailer doesn’t reveal too much,
but Enduring Love carries a plot that
goes in the most unexpected of places as it progresses, following a purely
It begins calmly
enough with English couple Joe (Daniel Craig) and Claire (Samantha Morton)
enjoying a picnic in the countryside. Then out of nowhere, a hot air balloon
appears floating in an out of control motion. A man leaps out of to the close
ground below. A young boy is left inside, and the balloon starts to maneuver
Joe races to help,
as do several other onlookers. Grabbing onto a rope and helping to pull the
balloon safely, he does all that he can before forcing himself to fall back to
the earth as it rises. Other men who help leap to the ground as well, but one
man holds on. Minutes later, that last man plunges from the rope to meet a
The incident will
stick with Joe for more than one reason, the second of which having to do with
an accomplice who assisted in the rescue attempt. His name is Jed (Rhys Ifans),
and right from the get go, he seems a little off from Joe’s point of view.
When looking at the dead man’s corpse, Jed asks Joe to join him in prayer. Joe
admits he doesn’t believe in prayer, yet Jed insists.
Some time goes by
following the incident. Joe intends on moving on, focusing on that of his
girlfriend and his profession of teaching ethics and love at a nearby
University. However, Joe’s entire life takes a spontaneous turn the day when
out of nowhere, Jed pops up and asks Joe for some kind of consultation.
At first, Joe
thinks Jed is suffering from a post traumatic disorder, and needs some serious
help. The matter starts to grow hostile as Jed begins stalking Joe almost
everywhere he goes. Why is Jed torturing Joe psychologically? The reasons for it
all are not worth revealing. Trust me when I say that it won’t be like
anything you expect.
director is Roger Michell, most noted for directing the romantic comedy Notting
Hill (which co-starred Ifans), but whose real achievement was with the
mesmerizing drama Changing Lanes from 2002. Michell, working with a screenplay by Joe
Penhall (itself adapted from the novel by Ian McEwan) has made quite a haunting
piece. It has the feeling of a drama descending into a thriller, but the crucial
actions in the story seem to have an even bigger purpose as one of the
If you’re looking
for a film to surprise you by how it unfolds, then Enduring Love is one film you should indeed discover. It’s a
strikingly haunting drama that, at times, carries the ability to really get
under your skin in a rare cerebral way. Tremendously well acted and terrifically
made all across the board.
anamorphic presentation is a most terrific one. The image provided soars with a
strong level of all around clarity and strong detail. Daylight sequences fare
much better than some of the darker shots, but that’s my only quibble. Colors
are nicely handled, too.
This is first and
foremost a dialogue driven piece, but the 5.1 mix makes the most of it with a
pleasant sounding performance. Words are delivered wonderfully, and several
sequences are injected with a lively level of surround sound, perfectly
reflecting the mood of the scenes.
All that is
featured are bonus previews for addition Paramount titles, including fellow must
sees Mean Creek and The United States of Leland.