The Sense of an Ending – Review

Charlotte Rampling as Veronica Ford and Jim Broadbent as Tony Webster in The Sense of an Ending – Courtesy of Studiocanal.

Book to film adaptations have become very common in the past decade, I find that most lose touch in what the novel was intending to say, however, this film sits on edge.

The Sense of an Ending was directed by Ritesh Batra, it follows the story of a divorced man called Tony Webster (Jim Broadbent) and the mistakes he made in his past that led to who he is now.

The story is in essence, a long stretch of road, never taking a hard turn even at its conclusion; sadly the small impressions it did make were cut up and separated all throughout the film. The novel was meant to portray the deceptive and sometimes self-reassuring stories we tell ourselves, more particularly how we can lie to ourselves or remain ignorant of the things right in front of us; while the film mirrors many of these themes, it is too stuck in the back and forth nature of the narrative to make these themes clear.

Jim Broadbent’s performance more than makes up for the disconnection this film has made with its novel counterpart, adding more depth to the character far beyond what was expected; he carefully balances the lead characters faults and makes Tony Webster feel like a real person, even going as far as to add small mannerisms to the characters personality.

Ritesh Batra added some admirable camera work, especially with its snappy editing – many shots were preferable to what you would see in most dramas, the editing lightens the film up, making it more digestible between flashbacks. This film is highly character focussed, it attempts to show you how actions have consequences, and how we can tell ourselves stories and sometimes lies. Ritesh Batra has succeeded in adapting this novel, though the film did waste opportunities to reveal many revelations the character had, most book readers can be satisfied enough that Jim Broadbent gave an emotional and startlingly real portrayal.


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