On Chesil Beach DVD Review


Good Morning Lovelies, 

The 60s, a time when Britain helped birth a new nation. No longer the safe generation that once was, the war changed the young minds and with this shaped a new outlook. The pill was born, kitchen sink dramas were grittier than ever and fashion was more of a lifeline than ever before.

However, in the early years, there were only tiny dippings of toes in pools to try and get this moment started, which is where On Chesil Beach sits. When a young couple, Edward (Billy Howle) and Florence (Saoirse Ronan) get married in 1962, they are faced with spending their first night together. Yet, whilst they love each other dearly, a fear causes them to hold back from having sex. The fear that was presented to them through their peers and society.

Based on the best-selling book by Ian McEwan, this page to screen adaptation by theatre director Dominic Cooke feels like an intimate play. If the film had been set in modern days, it would have been a comedy-drama. Yet, in this instant, it is a dark gritty beach that presents the impression that it is trying to get the same response that kitchen sink dramas in the 60s did.

Blustery scenes on the beach meet the crashing waves of flashbacks and the motions of the bedroom action, leading to a dark world that clashes with the nature of the characters. People who are innocent and need nurturing, yet they are giving enough emotion that they don’t need sympathy from their audience.

For a young pair, they are simply facing something that many couples do in the early stages of their relationships. Ronan and Howle play a believable pairing, who are threatened by external sources through laughter, snickering and family manners. All of which makes the film feel like it is a timely piece but one that doesn’t reel off quite as well as some may have hoped.

In a way similar to Mc Ewan’s Atonement, the film’s flashbacks make the film more interesting, especially towards the end when a huge time hop takes place, however, there are many moments in which could have been left in the book. Drawn out scenes make the film feel dated and not in a good way. Basing the drama in just one area would have made the film flow so much better in fact.

There so, I am giving this a wavy…

3 Stars

Blog Soon, 
Joey X 

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