Atonement – A beautiful yet sad masterpiece


There are movies you love, there are movies you hate but also there are movies you just cannot forget. And to me, Atonement is one of them.

I actually was assigned to watch this movie by my teacher. It’s a British History class and we were learning about the World War 2. So he wanted us to watch this movie first to have a close look about what happened in that phase. But after watching this masterpiece, it’s not only about the war that left but it’s also about the emotions, the lessons and the message that movie wanna send to us.

Atonement  poster

Indeed, Atonement is a sad movie about World War 2 which totally left me speechless, empty and a little bit angry. I have seen a lot of movie about wars, however, this one is not what I expected. Unlike others, Atonement did not have so many fight scenes or politics. It’s just like a poem but a sad one. Like you are mad about the way thing happened but you don’t have a choice and all you have to do is learn to accept it, painfully, angrily and helplessly. That’s how Atonement makes you feel.

The movie is about a 13-year-old Briony who destroyed the lives of Cecilia – her sister, Robbie – the housekeeper’s son and also her sister’s lover, and even her own by strongly accused Robbie of a crime he didn’t do.

Saoirse Ronan as Young Briony

Childish Briony did not realised that how much her lies ruined Cecilia and Robbie’s live. Accidentally witnessed a sexual moments of Cecilia and Robbie and read the love letter of Robbie for her sister which contains few erotic words, Briony, who has huge crush on Robbie, has become jealous and blinded.

The love between Cecilia and Robbie is pure and true. They love each other and they cannot resist the chemistry between them. But Briony didn’t know that, all she thought is that Robbie is a disgusting pervert. And when Lola – her cousin was found assaulted, she confidently claimed that Robbie was the one who raped Lola while Lola knows for sure Robbie didn’t. But as a young and noble girl, Lola just doesn’t want everybody think that she just get laid with an old man. So by all sentimental judges, Briony, just by a saying, randomly sent Robbie to prison which led to his joining in the WW 2 while he should have been in medical university and become a doctor then can marry to Cecilia.

Juno Templa as Lola 

I do know what the movie wanna convey is about the meaninglessness of the war. Without that awful historic event, thing might be different. But there is another message in the film and it’s about the never-enough atonement if you wrongly accused somebody of something he/she never did.  The fact that Briony cannot changed the her mistake makes me really mad. Could she change the past? Could she turn back time and fix her mistake? Could she just make up to all what Cecilia and Robbie had to suffer? Sadly, no she couldn’t. And she has to live her whole life with the inconsolable torment knowing that she was wrong and selfish.

And guilty Briony has spent her life writing a novel about this. In her novel, Cecilia and Robbie have an happy ending which they obviously cannot have in real life. That’s all she can do. But she knows, deep down in her heart, she never feels forgiven, she never feel relieved. No one can forgive Briony for what happened, even herself. But what can we do? And that what-can-we-do feeling is exactly what makes Atonement unforgettable to me. It’s so real, so true but so cruel, so painful and so haunted at the same time.

Old Briony

I will not get over this movie, because I just can’t, honestly. Great performance from Hollywood. Especially Keira Knightley and James McAvoy – the two main cast.

Overall, Atonement is a brilliant movie, I never say I love it but for sure it will never get out of my mind. The perspective of Cecilia and Robbie happy at the white cliff of dover will remain in my heart. And I do hope, they are happy somewhere in another world. And I think, everyone hope the same.


2 responses to “Atonement – A beautiful yet sad masterpiece”

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