The Edge of Love (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner18/06/2008

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 104 mins

Impressively directed, superbly written drama with career-best performances from both Keira Knightley and Sienna Miller.

What's it all about?
Loosely based on a true story, The Edge of Love stars Keira Knightley as Vera Phillips, a wartime singer who is reunited with her childhood sweetheart, Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (Matthew Rhys), when she bumps into him in a pub. Dylan asks Vera if she still loves him and declares that they are soulmates, before promptly introducing her to his wife, free-spirited Caitlin (Sienna Miller).

Though she still loves Dylan, Vera marries her devoted admirer, Captain William Killick (Cillian Murphy), but when Killick is posted overseas, Vera returns to Wales and shares a house with Dylan and Caitlin. Despite their love-rival status, the two women develop a close friendship (much to Dylan's delight), but when Killick returns, the simmering tensions soon reach boiling point.

The Good
John Maybury (Love Is The Devil) directs with an impressive sense of style (the opening singing sequence is breathtakingly gorgeous) and the film is beautifully shot and lit throughout, courtesy of cinematographer Jonathan Freeman. Similarly, there's genuine chemistry between Knightley and Miller and Maybury orchestrates some powerfully erotic sequences, such as a scene in which Vera and Caitlin share a bath.

Keira Knightley is sensational as Vera, delivering an impressive Welsh accent and even singing her own songs. Similarly, Sienna Miller displays heart-breaking vulnerability as Caitlin, while Murphy convincingly portrays the transformation from puppy-ish, naive and deeply smitten soldier to the brooding, jealous intensity of the wounded war veteran.

The Bad
The only weak note in the film is Matthew Rhys, who lacks chemistry with both his leading ladies and is saddled with a curiously underwritten role. It also doesn't help that Thomas is, frankly, a bit of a shit, to the point where you wonder why the women weren't fighting over Killick instead.

Worth seeing?
In short, despite Rhys' underwhelming performance, The Edge of Love is an engaging and ultimately moving drama, thanks to Maybury's impressive direction and terrific performances from Knightley and Miller.

Film Trailer

The Edge of Love (15)
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Content updated: 23/07/2018 03:10

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