Pros:Truly interesting. Vivid look. Solid acting.
Cons:Occasionally feels overly literary and contrived.
The Bottom Line: Again...more than anything else, I found this movie interesting. It intrigued me and kept my attention the whole time. That's quite a compliment for this sort of movie.
**Warning! Mild Spoilers Ahead!**
Recommend this product?
Although love is a primary theme in this movie, "Possession" is too smart to be labeled as a 'chick flick.' The romance occurs differently than in most movies. Rather than simply meet, click, and fall in love, the lead characters (Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart) become interested in each other through their collaboration on an historic literary mystery. The events around them bring the love to them, through exploration and information. Yes, they still jump into bed a little too quickly, but the pace of the relationship seemed more reasonable than normal.
The mystery portion of the film is also unusual. Most viewers (like myself) won't know anything about the story, so everything that happens is legitimately fresh and new. As Paltrow and Eckhart unravel the backstory, small twist after small twist is revealed, and these twists constantly maintain the interest of the audience. One side story is unnecessary and forgettable, but it isn't overly emphasized and can be easily ignored.
Technically, the film is very good. It looks great, whether in the vivid and lush countryside of England or the urban exteriors and interiors. Even when using basic fall and winter hues, "Possession" feels alive with color. The transitions between the parallel stories are efficient, effective, and enjoyable. Often a mere pan of the camera covers hundreds of years, smoothly switching between romance stories. Nothing is particularly ground-breaking, but director Neil LaBute uses established and little-used techniques perfectly. The script is solid as well. Although it does occasionally feel overly literary, that type of dialogue still works because of the style of the film.
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