Keira Knightly seems to be following a period film trend in her career. There was “Atonement,” “Pride and Prejudice,” the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series and now the confusing romance “The Edge of Love.” The glamorous looks and vivacious personalities of Caitlin MacNamara (Sienna Miller) and Vera Phillips (Keira Knightly) are two of the few things that captivate the audience in this twisted love story.
Loosely based on real events, the film is set in 1940’s London during the blitz. Struggling poet and freeloader Dylan Thomas (played Matthew Rhys) balances his tumultuous married life with MacNamara while toying with the affections of his first childhood love, Phillips. The three live together in a small, one-bedroom apartment with wife and new love interest just inches from one another.
The plot was fairly predictable and the dialogue mediocre at best. It was however, refreshing to see recognizable faces like Rhys (“Brothers and Sisters”) and Cillian Murphy (“Batman Begins”) as the two main heart breakers. Most of the movie is shot in a semi-black and white “Titanic”-esque aura, which is both depressing and foreshadowing. The musical score for the movie was divine. Knightly even sang some of the songs herself.
Unfortunately the good looks of the actors were not enough to distract the audience from the asinine characters and awkward friendship that forms between MacNamara and Phillips. I came to detest Dylan’s character for being such a leech and manipulator, not worthy of either woman’s affections. The whiny poet is too engrossed in writing (both English government propaganda and personal pieces) to realize he’s being a complete jerk.
The history surrounding the movie, the excellent setting and the ability of the film crew built up the audience’s expectations for a rich storyline. Unfortunately, it was disappointing. The movie would have been improved with a more in-depth look at the story surrounding the “love rectangle.” By the end, the story had become slightly monotonous.
Overall the movie had the potential to be great, but it wasn’t. Instead of feeling strongly about the characters, I felt they were underdeveloped and the plot was redundant. Some viewers might enjoy the full frontal nudity, but for the most part I’d say this movie is for you if you’re simply in the mood for a pretty face or two.