The End of the Affair 1999 ***

Previously filmed in 1955, Graham Greene’s novel gets a plush but sensitive treatment by Neil Jordan, who manages to capture the complexities of the book in a literate, visually austere film. Ralph Fiennes plays writer Maurice Bendrix, who meets old friend Henry (Stephen Rea) in post-WWII London, and feels compelled to reopen his relationship with Henry’s wife Sarah (Julianne Moore). Henry believes that Sarah is unfaithful; Maurice goes one better by hiring a private investigator to look into her deceptions, while ruminating on their own explosive dalliance amongst the bombs of the Blitz. Jordan captures the passion of a dangerous sexual relationship in these flashbacks, with both Maurice and Sarah coming to problematic accommodations with each other, and God, as they find a short romantic idyll between the sheets. The End of the Affair is a very adult and yet still romantic drama that doesn’t compromise on Greene’s intelligence, and has uncompromising performances from Fiennes and Moore at its beating heart.


Leave a Reply