A letter from a long lost love leads to the unravelling of a mystery from the past, and so begins Ritesh Batra’s The Sense of an Ending.
Adapted for the big screen from Julian Barnes’ award winning novel, the story tells the tale of Tony Webster (Jim Broadbent) who is haunted by his past, which has direct consequences for him in the present.
When Sarah Ford (Emily Mortmier) the mother of a former girlfriend Tony met in the 1960s dies, she leaves him 500 pounds and a letter.
This marks the beginning of Tony’s journey into his past.
Through the letter and flashbacks, it is revealed Tony attended Cambridge where he befriended a somewhat shy but highly intellectual boy named Adrian (Joe Alwyn).
Tony’s university life is filled with partying, flirting, drinking and philosophical discussions on French existentialist Albert Camus.
However, the story is filled with twists and turns and Batra perfectly captures the vulnerability and invincibility of youth as well as the understanding and regrets brought on by age.
The apparent suicide of Tony’s friend Robson is critical to the surprising reveal at the end, which is guaranteed to leave audiences shocked.
The Sense of an Ending is sensitive and shocking.
It is also filled with tender moments and explores intimate themes such as first love and the bond between a father and daughter.
Also starring Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling, Matthew Goode and Downton Abbey’s Michelle Dockery.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Distributor: CBS Films, Liongate and StudioCanal
Out now on DVD and blu ray