"poetically directed by Batra, Broadbent without a doubt gives a terrific performance as the central character"
Tony Webster (Jim Broadbent), a semi-retired camera-store owner receives a registered letter but stashes it away in his pocket not opening it, and when he does read it we only catch a mere glimpse of it.
As the story unfolds, we learn that an item has been left to him by the deceased mother of an old girlfriend, Veronica (who, in flashback is played by Freya Mavor and in present day by Charlotte Rampling) who is reluctant to give up the item, and Tony’s efforts to retrieve it lead him to relay past events to ex-wife (Harriet Walter).
Significant events are revealed gradually via a number of flashbacks, with questions eventually answered, which lead to others. The movie being made up with plenty of gratifying delay tactics.
Nick Payne’s writing is so real that you feel you are a part of the conversations being held between the different characters, and what’s interesting about the character of Susie (Michelle Dockery of ‘Downton Abbey’ fame), Tony’s daughter, is her set of circumstances, which we are left to interpret as we see fit: we know not how she came to be carrying a baby on her own, or who, indeed, is the father. Yet somehow we require no explanations.
“The film is a beautiful adaptation of the book,” according to Dockery, who leapt at the opportunity of working with Ritesh Batra, in these words Dockery sums up Batra’s earlier film, The Lunchbox and his latest, The Sense of an Ending: “As individuals we all have a journey and are the authors of our own story. We are all extraordinary,”
Batra is known for debut feature film The Lunchbox, which stars Irrfan Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and Nimrat Kaur, it tells the story of Ila (Nimrat Kaur), a lonely housewife, who decides to spice up her rather stale marriage by preparing an extraordinary lunch. Unfortunately, the delivery of it finds its way into the hands of Saajan (Irrfan Khan), a widower. Curious Ila writes a note, and encloses it in the next day's lunchbox. It isn’t long before a friendship, if unusual strikes up between him and she, where they express their woes and joys of life without actually meeting.
The Lunchbox premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013, and won the Rail d’Or (Grand Golden Rail). The Lunchbox was also rated the highest grossing foreign film in America, Europe and Australia in 2014. Batra was nominated for a BAFTA in 2015, for the Best Film Not in the English language.
In The Sense of an Ending, Broadbent without a doubt gives a terrific performance as the central character, whose interest in others is limited, one might go so far as to say ‘he is a bit of a jerk.’ The Sense of an Ending is poetically directed by Batra, as was the case with The Lunchbox, which I am inclined to prefer for its originality.