My Cousin Rachel

2017-08-11 10:05
 

What it's about:

A young Englishman plots revenge against his beautiful cousin, believing that she murdered his guardian. But, he is conflicted as he finds himself falling under the beguiling spell of the mysterious woman’s charms.

What we thought:

“Did she? Didn’t she? Who’s to blame?” These opening questions will basically haunt you throughout the entire 106 minutes of the film My Cousin Rachel.

Based on the 1951 novel by British author Daphne du Maurier, My Cousin Rachel is told from the perspective of Philip – an orphaned young man on the cusp of his 25th birthday who was raised by his cousin Ambrose (Iain Glen) on a large estate in Cornwall.

Ambrose is in poor health, and every winter he goes abroad to seek warmer weather. While on his third winter abroad in Italy, Ambrose reveals to Philip via letters that he won’t be returning soon and that he got married to his cousin Rachel who has been looking after him there.

As Ambrose’s letters continue, his tone changes and he reveals that he doesn’t trust Rachel and that his health is deteriorating. Philip travels to Italy to find Ambrose is dead and that Rachel is no longer staying in their villa. Philip of course can’t deal with this and blames Rachel for his cousin’s death. He vows revenge.

Back in Cornwall, Philip prepares for the arrival of Rachel, his arch nemesis. Enter Rachel, played by Rachel Weisz. She’s beautiful, kind, confident and mysterious. Everything little ol’ Philip, played by Sam Claflin, didn’t expect. He is floored. And of course, he completely and utterly falls head over heels in love with her; to the point of obsession.

But Rachel of course planned this all along. Or did she? Weisz is the best part of this film. She is brilliant in her role as you just never know what she’s planning or whether she really is as cunning as you think she is. Did she kill Ambrose? Or didn’t she?

In a recent interview with Andrew Bloomenthal for ScriptMag, Weisz said: “The whole fun of the film is trying to figure out whether Rachel can be trusted. This really made me want to do this project.”

Another interesting fact about this film is that it was written and directed by South African-born Roger Michell. Known for films such as Notting Hill, Changing Lanes and Morning Glory, Michell does a good job at bringing My Cousin Rachel to life. It’s mysterious and dark and you’re left guessing. 

While the beautiful cinematography and the intriguing storyline will hold your attention, the story does drag a bit and at the end of the film you don’t really care whether she did or she didn’t. If you read the book or if you’re into period thrillers, then you will enjoy this. But if you’re a Star Wars fan, then rather steer clear. 

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