My Cousin Rachel
Opening on the 9th of June the tense period thriller that is My Cousin Rachel received a moderate welcome in the box office; fit for the small-scale cinematic release it was given. I first became aware of the film after watching a promotion on The Graham Norton Show; while this didn’t give much away about the plot it really piqued my interest. The plot revolves around the relationships between two cousins Ambrose and Phillip Ashley and their cousin Rachel. Semi-incestuous relationships ensue alongside possible murder creating a tense mystery for the audience and the characters to solve.
Sam Clafin takes on the lead role of Philip Ashley alongside Ambrose Ashley, the skill taken here to create differentiation is magnificent, the audience at points could well believe there are two actors playing the roles. He also does a good job creating believable confusion and anger in his main role that follows the changing circumstances and confusion in the film. Rachel Weisz as Rachel in the film is stunning, as an audience member I was never fully sure of her intentions throughout the film. The small nuanced expressions she uses gave the audience clues to what was happening and the emotional deception that might be at work. Her characterisation is reminiscent of classic thrillers such as Fatal Attraction. All the characters are very well written with no dialogue going spare, I was hooked the entire way through the film and left with about as many questions as I went in with.
A stand out part of the film for me was the direction and cinematography, making this one of the most beautiful films I have had the pleasure to watch all year. Mike Eley director of cinematography is brilliant in both the stunning wide shots of the Cornish coast and the intense carefully lit scenes that take place in the house. The lighting in all these shots is carefully chosen to create the right amount of mystery and intrigue throughout the film; it creates a large contrast between the open and clear outdoor scenes and the confusing events that take place inside.
I left the cinema really thinking about the conclusion which I will not spoil here, not many films are able to make me so confused about the conclusion. This shows the attention to detail that the makers of this film really put in and the hard work of everyone on the team. Also going in knowing almost nothing about the film I was really shocked I would enjoy it so much. Still in selected cinemas now I would really recommend going to see this, its intellectual and beautiful and really commends the current film making industry.