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Tune In To Atonement?

The more I read through Atonement, the more I can see how this novel became an Academy Award nominated movie. It’s a great story, just made for Hollywood.

At times, though, the plot feels almost too Hollywood with too many perfectly timed coincidences. A few incidents in the plot are the action movie equivalent of the sniper who shoots the gunman seconds before the gunman shoots the hostage in the head.

It all starts with a letter and the imagination of a young, budding writer, Briony. She witnesses a strange incident with her older sister, Cecilia, and a boy, Robbie (a childhood friend). Soon after, she comes into possession of the letter that Robbie sends to Cecilia.

The combination of those two events have drastic consequences for Robbie. And they honestly make you want to toss Briony into a pool of alligators.

To get an idea of the plot, take a look at the official trailer for the Atonement movie, starring Keira Knightley and James McAvoy. It’s interesting how the eery, melancholy feel of the novel that I have in my man brain translates perfectly to the trailer.

Is the Atonement movie worth my time…after I read the novel?

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19 Comments Post a comment
  1. Pool of alligators! That’s exactly where she should have gone, great idea. So far I’ve only despised the book – read it a few years ago now, but the trailer makes me think I’d enjoy it a lot more, So maybe you should have a go with the film too. Nicola

    Like

    September 11, 2012
    • I’m liking the book. I think it’s definitely worth another attempt.

      Like

      September 11, 2012
  2. Kim #

    I think you should give the movie a try after the book. You will hear criticism of the movie, because that’s just what happens when a book is made into a movie, but it is a beautifully shot film and the score is remarkable. It’s certainly worth your time.

    Like

    September 11, 2012
    • That’s the one thing that stands out to me, just from watching the trailer, is how beautiful of a movie it appears to be.

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      September 11, 2012
      • Oh, the cinematography of Atonement is wonderful. It is a very beautiful production to look at and the acting is excellent. The director of Atonement, Joe Wright, has done an amazing job. Joe Wright also directed Pride and Prejudice and the newly released movie adaptation of Anna Karenina, both of which are also outstandingly beautiful movies and both of which, incidentally, also star Keira Knightley. Wright’s working partnership with Keira Knightley is clearly very successful as I think her acting is best in the movies directed by him.

        I second Kim: it’s definitely worth your time.

        Like

        September 11, 2012
  3. Siuon #

    The movie is okay. But it fails to capture the beauty of writing

    Like

    September 11, 2012
  4. The book is bad and the movie is worse. However, the movie is at least visually pleasant whereas the book is just too obviously constructed (as you intimate). Don’t you just hate it when an author writes to purposely manipulate the reader and score a big movie contract?

    Like

    September 11, 2012
    • I must admit that crossed my mind. The one plot point that stands out to me is the fact that he picks up the wrong letter. As I was reading that, I thought surely this isn’t going to happen this way. I must say I was a little disappointed because it just seemed too easy. There had to be a better way to initiate that tension with Briony, Cee, and Robbie. That said, I still like the book, at least so far. But I will agree with you on that.

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      September 11, 2012
  5. I think you should watch the movie after you finish the book. Briony made me soo mad i wanted to jump in the movie and smack her.

    Like

    September 11, 2012
  6. Jillian ♣ #

    The movie is DEFINITELY worth your time.

    Like

    September 11, 2012
  7. The film is a lot beter than the book…!

    Like

    September 11, 2012
  8. I tried to read the book, tried to enjoy it but couldn’t. However, I love the movie. Go figure. Perhaps I need to read it again with the image of James McAvoy in my head.

    Like

    September 12, 2012
  9. Ultimately I think that the book moves our desire to throw Briony into a pool of alligators to a personal reflection of just how much we wish we could to the same to ourselves when we hurt the people we love. Maybe our actions don’t have such tragic consequences as Briony’s, but there are things each of us do that we spend the rest of our lives wishing we could atone for, and that’s why I related to the story on such a deep level, especially as a writer.

    And yes, the book is definitely worth your time. It makes the story come to life, and it is one of the best war-era films I’ve seen.

    Like

    September 12, 2012
  10. I’m not sure if anyone has posted this yet, but the ending of the movie is different from the way the book ends. It doesn’t change the plot, but it wraps things up a lot more quickly. I loved the book, but I loved the movie even more! The movie is fantastic, the acting is beyond spectacular, I highly recommend it!

    Like

    September 12, 2012
  11. How to stop importing blog posts on facebook? ‘Stop importing’ button is not found.?

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    November 28, 2013

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  1. Book #47: Atonement | 101 Books

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