One Day European Premiere Review and Exclusive Pictures

With Hollywood seemingly preferring to make movies based on novels rather than rely on writers to create their own original works, it is no suprise this week that another such adaption is being released on to cinema screens nationwide.

Based on the best selling novel of the same name by David Nicholls, the film stars Anne Hathaway as Emma Morley and Jim Sturgess as Dexter Mayhew as a couple whose lives we experience key moments of over the course of the film’s two hour plus running time. The resulting journey as the film’s PR describes, allows the couple (And therefore by proxy us the viewer) to “realize that what they are searching and hoping for has been there for them all along.” 

Two decades of life in two hours is a daunting prospect and an interesting concept for a director to tackle and make into a movie, especially when you consider that for this movie to work the audience must bond with the characters in order for them to experience the journey too. So this is where the choice of whom you get to play the characters is crucial and in this case director Lone Scherfig (An Education) chose Hathaway (Apparently the only American actress who Scherfig saw for the role) and Sturgess to form this bond with the audience. A bond which, to be honest, despite the great performances from the two, didn’t seem to form as well as it needed to, to make the concept work and is largely due to the actual concept and its use in this movie. What I mean by this is that in order to fit this movie into a manageable runtime the majority of the defining life moments we witness are condensed into too short a time (and in one case one key moment isn’t even shown on screen at all and instead referred to in dialogue only). As a result the audience feels like an obstinate newborn baby being spoonfed by their mother, minus the airplane or train sounds and as such the emotional connection is limited; at best forced. What makes this suprising is the fact that the movie was actually adapted by the book’s author and so whilst you may still get the key points of the story, the characters feel underwritten. Yes Hathaway and Sturgess make a believable couple but only to a point.

That said, these points aside the movie isn’t awful and does prove that in this era of high budget special effect blockbusters a traditionally made movie can still be made and made well. It is also worth noting that whilst the majority of the key emotional moments are as we discussed forced, the film does have a couple of genuinely touching moments which, whilst I wont spoil them, I will say that one adds credance to the saying “pappa knows best.” The film also has two moments which will make you gasp and again I won’t spoil those except to say that in one you will also jump and in the other you will immediately dispell any memories of Hathaway in The Princess Diaries and replace them with an image of the stunning and classic beauty that she has become, a modern day Audrey Hepburn if you will.

The camera work is great and some of the scenery is beautiful and considering the challanges of shooting a scene set in the past, the locations and sets have been well thought out to reflect this. A special mention must also be given here to the choice of music used throughout the film; as with each change to another year we are greeted with a song from that period and as such we end up with a soundtrack that I would actually consider buying. Returning to the casting and I would be remiss not to mention that the movie features aside from the aforementioned pairing, an all round great cast that includes the likes of Jodie Whitaker, Romala Garai and the film stealing Rafe Spall, who manages to turn a potentially stereotypical character (Ian) into one of the films highlights and as such delivers a fantastic performance.

In summation then, whilst this review has had a few negatives in it, I still on the whole enjoyed the movie but I do feel that this story would have been better suited to another medium, possibly television, as that way the characters could have been given more time to be fleshed out and thus allow for a better connection with the viewer. The narrative whilst linear isnt as predictable as it could have been, its downfall instead lies in underdeveloped characters and an overly forced message, a message which is infact given away in a scene that occurs way too early in the movie and is almost spelled out to you by the characters dialogue. 

In conclusion though and to borrow an analogy used in the aforementioned scene, if you like a movie that will make you laugh, cry, smile and appreciate the ones that you love, then this film is the ying to your yang.

One Day is now available at cinemas nationwide.

 

 

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