Sunday, January 10, 2010
Day 308: Enduring Love (2004) - Rank 4/5
The best way to describe this film is it's excellent on all counts, from screenplay to acting and directing, but it is not something I would regularly watch for shits and giggles. The primary reason is that the film accomplishes, all too well, what it sets out to do - make the viewer feel uncomfortable. The tale of obsession is sparked by a chance collision of individuals through a tragic hot air balloon accident (possibly one of the most unique ways to set a plot in motion that I can recall). Two of the men at the scene are Joe (Daniel Craig) and Jed (Rhys Ifans). They are the first to discover the disemboweled body of the accident victim and during the pause of shock that first follows, Jed perceives there to be a "moment" between them. Jed then desperately (though that word puts it mildly) strives to convince Joe that there truly is something between them, despite Joe being positively repelled by the notion. As Jed's obsession and stalking persist, Joe is pushed to the edge at which point you're wondering who will remain standing at the end. But what Joe must consider is what he risks losing once he sinks to Jed's level...specifically, his fiancee Claire (Samantha Morton).
There are elements of the plot that could be likened to Adrian Lyne's "Fatal Attraction," though where the film's theme stops at "cautionary," "Enduring Love" delves deep into the horrific. What makes it unsettling is that Joe is just that - Average Joe. He didn't ask to end up in his predicament and when he becomes involved, there is no component to his choices that predetermines this fate for him, much less makes him deserving of it. It's merely a matter of chance and the film begs us to question ourselves as to how we would handle a similar situation, to ask: how would I react if someone pushed me past the limits of my sanity and threatened my life? It's a haunting piece of work that's hard to simply shrug off. Incidentally, Rhys Ifans is perfect for the role of Jed; I've wanted to kill that actor for years.
Watch the Trailer