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Edge of Love, The
Stars: Keira Knightley, Sienna Miller, Matthew Rhys, Cillian Murphy
Director: John Maybury
The wartime relationship between Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (Rhys) and two of the women in his life - his wife, Caitlin (Miller) and sometime mistress Vera (Knightley) - is explored in this rambling and drainingly downbeat film. 'Nothing but you and me and time on our hands,' says Dylan to Vera at one point, and all too often there is indeed not enough going on.
Director Maybury conjures up a smokily convincing wartime London atmosphere and tries hard not to make his threadbare material dreary - putting in several sequences where Vera entertains as a singer in London underground shelters. It's there she meets Captain William Killick (Murphy), a handsome young officer who persists in pursuing her after initial rejection and gradually comes between her and her relationship with Dylan and Caitlin, both currently lodging at Vera's sister's home.
Succumbing to William after near death in a bomb blast - 'you have a raindrop running down your cheek,' he tells her, in one the screenplay's several clunky moments - Vera marries him and sees him off to war in Greece before finding out she's pregnant. But, in a year or so, she, like the Thomases, returns to the Welsh coast, where she is again exposed to the temptations of the languid, silver-tongued Dylan.
Rhys is Thomas to the life, though the character is irritating rather than interesting and it's almost a pleasure to see him beaten up by a sailor over his views as a conscientious objector. Knightley's Welsh accent, apart from one early lapse into King's English, sounds pretty good and her singing is also passable, if not likely to come an album near you any time soon. Miller registers less well (as does her Welsh accent), playing her role just a shade too sluttishly. Knightley on the other hand, still has that Audrey Hepburn look and feel that make her stand out as an individual star.
UK 2007. UK Distributor: Lionsgate. Technicolor.
104 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.
Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.
Review date: 14 Jun 2008