Thursday, March 30, 2006

"Exquisite portrait of a lady"

A new-found review of Possession from WebIndia

'Possession' which is directed by Neil LaBute explores a romantic desire in a devilishly clever screenplay based on A. S. Byatt's booker prize winning novel of the same name. Everything in this film has a sense of passion -a passion for Language, for England and for romance.
In the film, two stories are recounted, one set in present day London and the other in the towns of the Victorian England. The two tales mix and match , as a pair of lovers intrude into the lives of two lonely academics. Roland Michell (Aaron Eckhart) is an American on a fellowship in London to study the great Victorian poet Randolph Henry Ash (Jeremy Northam) and Maud Bailey (Gwyneth Paltrow), a brilliant academic who an authority on Victorian poet Christabel LaMotte (Jennifer Ehle).
Ash is known famously for a series of love poems he wrote to his wife, but Roland stumbles onto information suggesting that they were for someone else , a secret love, never revealed to the world before. It leads to La Motte who as per history books had met Ash briefly only once in their lifetime. The two scholars investigate the romance between their subjects, using the pair's love letters to piece together clues, from dusty bookshelves to beautiful locales in Yorkshire, England and soon find themselves in love.

Dashing , Jeremy Northam is robust and coolly casual as Ash. The lovely Jennifer Ehle gives an exquisite portrait of a lady experiencing a new kind of passion, while beautiful Lena Headey as Blanche, also experiences something different-sexual jealousy. The romantic scenes between Ehle and Northam captivates. Gwenneth Paltrow as usual blends with the character as the stuffy academic turned to a dreamy romantic.

In this film, LaBute, portrays a love for all things British. He deserves full credit for handling the pace well. Designer Luciaa Arrighi and Costumer Jenny Beavan, make sure that the look of both periods has dramatic resemblance and resonance. For many reasons, Ash and LaMotte's is the story that feels more attractive here, figure out why, and you will be glad that you saw this movie.

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