The Correspondence


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

The Correspondence
"The film plays on its clever concept, forgetting that its audience wants the agony to end and the action to begin."

At first the concept seems intriguing and then it seems odd and then it seems creepy and then it becomes a bore.

As you wait for closure things repeat. The idea does not have legs. It goes on and goes on and goes nowhere. The girl mourns her dead lover. With disc recordings, text messages, letters and flowers he keeps his memory fresh. And the girl mourns some more. And the movie sinks, ever slower, and is gone.

Copy picture

Jeremy Irons is a professor of something to do with the stars and gravity and Stephen Hawking's black holes. Olga Kurylenko is a stuntwoman. She used to be his student. They have been having an affair for six years and their passion appears to be as ripe as it was at the beginning.

He is old. He looks old. She is young. She looks like a model. He is dying of a brain disorder but doesn't tell her and spends his last few months preparing messages of every shape and kind so that she will receive them after his death.

Is this a ghost story? she wonders.

The vanity and selfishness of the man is beyond reason. The girl is wiped out. She starts talking to him on a camcorder although he's not there and answering his messages as if he will read them. He haunts her with these memory devices and all she can do is mope and weep and wander about in a haze.

The film plays on its clever concept, forgetting that its audience wants the agony to end and the action to begin. A love story between a dead man and a living girl is sick.

There are people who find Irons sensually cringe-worthy. They won't last five minutes. There are others who believe he has elegance and style. They might reach the half way mark before the professor's smug, self-satisfied torture of the girl starts looking like an emotional crime.

Kurylenko has little to do but look miserable. The acting as a whole is weak, the supporting players below par.

The film feels achingly long, which may not be true. It just feels that way. Like a slug in mud.

Reviewed on: 16 Jun 2016
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A relationship between a woman and her tutor conducted almost entirely in the virtual space, takes an unexpected twist.


EIFF 2016

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