Saturday, 7 July 2018

DAMAGE

Based on the novel by Josephine Hart, Damage is must-see film of passion, position, complicated family interaction, tragedy, betrayal, isolation, distance and non-conformity. It paints a picture of relationships between people which are not planned, but must be explored and the consequences of human behaviour.

A British MP played by Jeremy Irons (The Man Who Knew Infinity, Lolita, The French Lieutenant's Woman) falls for the girlfriend, played by Juliette Binoche (The English Patient, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Chocolat, Trois Couleurs Bleu) of his son, portrayed by Rupert Graves (The Madness of King George, Sherlock, A Room with a View), in a love-at-first-sight moment at a social event. At this point, the MP didn't know who she was, nor she, him.

They pursue a physical relationship with passion and aggression in a series of scenes which very ably depict not two people lovingly warm and caring of each other, but rather two who are gripped by circumstance and are powerless to resist, even though knowing what damage may come of their actions. He is even more tightly gripped than her and is prepared to throw away his whole life to be with her, but she shows a little restrain at times.

The story blossoms from there and the outcomes become apparent as events unfold and develop. All the actors are quite superb, stunning and gripping in their roles depicting the emotions and feelings with expertise. They are a joy to watch and Miranda Richardson (Blackadder, Harry Potter, Sleepy Hollow), playing the MP's wife, though her part is smaller, almost steals the show with her performance and reaction as events roll towards their conclusion.

This is not a film to watch for great camerawork, landscapes and artistry but rather a film centred around people, script, emotion and quality acting executed with style. Though having said that, there's some lovely long-shots across rooms which give feeling with depth. The setting is convincing and some of the secondary cast members do well in adding to the atmosphere and culture of inner-city, monied and privileged London.

It's a great film, with sexual scenes filmed within context, not gratuitously, enabling the audience to feel the true nature of the boundaries (or not) which exist between the two leads - and certainly not cheap-thrill nudity or sex. Thoroughly recommended. Everyone should have this on their list.

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