The Edge of Love (2008) [Blu-ray]
|Genre(s): Drama / Romance / War|
|Image Entertainment || R - 111 minutes - $35.98 || July 14, 2009|
|Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-07-07|
Writer(s): Sharman MacDonald (written by)
Cast: Keira Knightley, Sienna Miller, Cillian Murphy, Matthew Rhys
Theatrical Release Date: March 13, 2009
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The line between love and war is thin. We all know that. At the same time, the line between friendship and love is even thinner. The Edge of Love the ferocity of the jealous and war-torn heart set in the U.K. and the onslaught of World War II.
Plot: During World War II, Vera (Keira Knightley) runs into her first love, charismatic Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (Matthew Rhys), and their feelings for each other are renewed, despite that Dylan is now married to the spirited Caitlin (Sienna Miller). Despite their rivalry, the two women become friends and the trio have happy times together. When Vera marries soldier William Killick (Cillian Murphy), Dylan becomes jealous at the addition of him to the group, and Caitlin notices.
But William is soon deployed abroad, and the remaining trio moves to the Welsh countryside, where Vera's feelings for Dylan intensify. When William comes home from the war, his jealousy compounded by his traumatic experiences explodes and he shoots up the house Dylan is staying in.
The Edge of Love is actually one of the most beautifully shot and just all around beautiful looking movie thanks in large part to Jonathan Freemanís (Hollywoodland) gorgeous, and truly Oscar-worthy, cinematography. Credit also should go to John Mayburyís direction as he does a stand up job presenting the WWII era with style. Maybury previously helmed 2005ís The Jacket (also starring Keira Knightley) and a couple episodes of ďRomeĒ as well. I canít say heís a master filmmaker but what he filmed looked great.
So, itís unfortunate that the film failed on a massive level. The screenplay, by Scotsman Sharman Macdonald, falls well short on fully connecting these characters in an intimate way. Itís never explained how Vera and Caitlin became best friends, I never felt the emotional connection even during the climatic finale which couldíve had a much bigger impact than it ultimately did.
Along with beautiful cinematography, the performances from the main cast all give fine performances, though no one really stands out and in regards to Keira Knightley, itís basically the same thing weíve seen from her before (see: Atonement). However, Matthew Rhys playing the man at the center of the chaos, probably comes out the best even though he, along with the rest of these characters, arenít exactly the most likable bunch. But itís not the fault of Knightley, Rhys, Sienna Miller or Cillian Murphy, it all again goes to the screenplay.
And thatís the crime of The Edge of Love. Itís an absolutely beautiful film with a script that doesnít adequately connect the dots from the characters to the plot at hand. That said, I do think it is worth it for great performances from its leads and for Freemanís cinematography, but the fact this couldíve been a WWII classic if it only had a better script...
The Blu-ray contains a soft spoken but semi-informative feature commentary with Director John Maybury and Actor Matthew Rhys, a basic making-of called ďLooking Over the Edge of LoveĒ Featurette (9:40), a set of outtakes (4:10) and the theatrical trailer (1:35).
.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.
The Edge of Love is presented on a single 25GB Blu-ray disc and in 1080p high-definition (1.85 aspect ratio). Due to the directorís style choice of giving the film an almost rusty tinge, colors are fairly muted throughout but the picture looks sharp with no signs of edge enhancement or any imperfections such as dust or scratches. Even with a toned down color palette, the movie still looks great on Blu-ray with only the occasional amount of film grain which is normal.
The lossless 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track sounds good though this is pretty much a dialogue-centric film with some era-inspired musical numbers thrown in which gets the most use out of the track. A standard Dolby Digital 5.1 track is also available for those who donít have the necessary equipment to decode the DTS-HD MA one.
The Edge of Love is a brilliant looking movie and although the story doesnít quite connect on an emotional level to match the cinematography or set design, I do think anyone interested in war romances or are fans of Keira Knightley might find it a bit more fascinating than I did. As for the Blu-ray, the audio and video both are great but the features do fall short.