Sunday, March 16, 2008


Atonement, I realize, is my kind of a movie: no silly plots, no unnecessary dialogue, no hint of corni-ness. I'm not going to divulge all the details; it's for you to find out. But really, if you haven't watched it yet, then I suggest you do.

There's this one scene that defined the movie for me: one sultry summer day in 1935, Briony Tallis hurriedly finishes her play, something she wants to present to a dinner party that her upper-class British family is preparing for.

The scene is a vague picture of my early childhood. I would grab a pen and paper, write anything that popped into my head--a poem, a letter, a sketch--and pretend that people were going to read it. Most of it was incomprehensible, I realized much, much later, but the practice kept me busy during the long afternoons when I wasn't allowed to get out because I had to take a nap. But I didn't sleep but wrote those things instead--one of the reasons, I guess, why I didn't grow any taller.

1 comment:

  1. I love Atonement (both the book and the movie). I think it really is Briony's story, more than it is a love story. It is the story of the ugly, tragic and irreversible repercussions of a lie which she perpetuated when she was young, and how she came to terms with it many years later.

    In the book, Briony said (and I'm paraphrasing) that writers are like God, because they are able to create beginnings and endings with their words. But even then, when she had the chance to create (or recreate) the love story of her sister; even then, when she had the chance to redeem herself, she was not too presumptuous as to say that she has been forgiven.


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