We saw the movie On Chesil Beach on Monday. It stars the luminous and lovely Saoirse Ronan who is superb in her role as young violinist Florence Ponting. Billy Howie plays her fiancée. He’s a recent history graduate named Edward Mayhew.
Florence and Billy are on their honeymoon. Neither of them has any idea how sex works and it leads to disaster. It makes the viewer awfully glad to be living in a time when information about sex is more readily available. Billy makes a choice the day after their wedding and it sets his life on an entirely different course than he’d planned. It makes you stop and wonder what choices in your own life changed its direction forever and how alternate choices might have turned out for you.
I haven’t read the book of the same name on which the film is based by Ian McEwan but apparently it has a much more ambiguous ending. I thought the end of the film was poorly done. I hardly ever notice make up in a movie but the cosmetic jobs on Florence and Billy who are in their sixties at the end of the movie are painfully unrealistic.
The story is a bit slow-moving ( I saw my husband nod off a couple of times) but I found it well acted and it made me think about my own wedding night at the North Star Inn- my first taste of both champagne and caviar which were supplied with our honeymoon package. I remember Dave called one of his baseball teammates before the evening was over to see if the guys had won or lost the game he’d missed that day. The outcome of our honeymoon night was thankfully not the same as Florence and Edward’s. On Chesil Beach is sad but worth seeing.
Other posts about movies……….