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The Edge of Love
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In the bohemian underground of World War II London, a stirring love story ignites among legendary poet Dylan Thomas (Matthew Rhys, TV's Brothers and Sisters) and the two extraordinary women who inspire him. Sienna Miller (Casanova) is Caitlin, Thomas' free-spirited wife, while Keira Knightley (Atonement) is Vera, the long-lost teenage sweetheart who later reconnects with Thomas. Despite their romantic rivalry, the two women form a surprisingly close bond. The trio is unusually blissful until Vera's husband, a handsome soldier (Cillian Murphy, Girl with a Pearl Earring), sends their uninhibited lives spiraling out of control.
Stills from The Edge of Love (Click for larger image)
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Stylish and strangely remote, The Edge of Love salutes two women who made a significant impact on poet Dylan Thomas in the 1940s. Married to restless Irish lass Caitlin (Sienna Miller), who favors revealing outfits, Dylan (Welsh actor Matthew Rhys, Brothers and Sisters) still pines for his childhood sweetheart, torch singer Vera Phillips (Keira Knightley, who does her own singing and does it well). Vera feels the same, but as Dylan isn't available she accepts a proposal from Captain William Killick (Cillian Murphy), a persistent British suitor. To Dylan, Vera is heavenly and Caitlin is earthly--and he can't see living without either one (the Thomases have an open marriage). While William is stationed in Greece, the trio, plus two children, share neighboring cottages in Wales, live off William's paychecks, and smoke every cigarette they can find, but when William returns, penniless and depressed, things start to fall apart. An act of violence, followed by a cruel betrayal, puts an end to their idyll for good. Since the 1990s, the poet-during-wartime picture has become a genre unto itself, and John Maybury's third feature bears comparison with Regeneration and Pandaemonium, while also serving as a literary companion to Love Is the Devil, Maybury's feverish portrait of painter Francis Bacon (Knightley's mother, Sharman Macdonald, wrote the script). If Sienna's Irish accent is barely detectable, the same goes for Keira's Welsh warble, but the women otherwise form a believable bond--even if the men pale in comparison. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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Top customer reviews
It is multidimensional. It examines the friendship and love between two ladies and their respective husbands. It looks at the effects of the World War on British Society. It deeply sups the well of the conflict between literature and art and practice and conflict.
This is a movie that you could watch time and time again and get new insights in every viewing.
At first, I thought that it was a story about the poet who was selected to aid the British war effort by writing poetry. He came off as a not so nice guy, and you were kind of expecting that during the film he would grow and change and become a better person.
*beware spoilers follow*
OK, that was not the case.
Because, he is not the main character or the main point in the film.
The two ladies, his wife and his paramour, are the main characters. Their relationship is critical to the film, and both of them do grow.
Some so called "chick flicks" are really romances that anyone can enjoy.
This is a chick flick, because many men will have a hard time relating to the male characters. The strong characters are really the ladies.
The men are foils to make the excellent points in the film.
(Both of the main ones are really jerks by the way. Still, their women stick with them to the end.)
All in all, a very thoughtful romp.
The movie centers on several themes, war, love, romance, and friendship that weaves elements of Thomas's life into a ball of fiction and nonfiction that is based on the book by David N. Thomas Dylan Thomas: A Farm, Two Mansions and a Bungalow that shows how the presumed long passed emotions between Vera and Dylan never quite went away and would eventually affect Dylan's marriage to Caitlin. Director John Maybury does an extremely exceptional job when presenting this aspect of Thomas's life and the vicious love triangle and the downward spiral that arises between the characters. Indeed, those scenes as well as one of the interesting parts of the film between Vera and Caitlin that show an inkling of a friendship that almost blooms but leads to misunderstandings, betrayal, and the eventual truth behind Thomas's carousing, emphasize the complexities of the life he lived.
The Edge of Love may appeal to Knightley fans and viewers who enjoy a period piece. Although the film starts slow in the beginning, it gradually builds by the conclusion with its subtle ironic ending.