Enduring Love (15)

Written by Ian McEwan and Joe Penhall, Directed by Roger Penhall
Screening at FACT from 26th November 2004

Reviewed by Adam Ford

Ian McEwan’s taut thriller of a novel has been turned into an equally taut thriller of a film. Though there have been more than a few changes here and there, the psychological battleground is essentially the same: love and emotion versus science and calculation.

Joe (Daniel Craig) is a reasonably successful writer and lecturer in philosophy. He lives with his long-term girlfriend Claire (Samantha Morton), a reasonably successful sculptor. One sunlit day, they spread out their picnic in an idyllic country field. As Joe pops open the wine bottle, a hot air balloon drifts into view. In that instant, the quiet tranquillity of the couple’s lives is shattered, and seemingly minor details of the afternoon will be magnified to incredibly disturbing levels, bringing catastrophe beyond anyone’s imagination.

Craig and Morton turn out solid performances as the unfortunate leading duo, while Rhys Ifans is scarily convincing as the spectral stalker who haunts their lives. But the star of the show is undoubtedly Haris Zambarloukos' cinematography, which draws the viewer into the heart of the action with its vivid intensity. This is one to watch through nail-bitten fingers, perched on the very edge of your seat.