“My Cousin Rachel”–a movie review   Leave a comment

Like sequels, very seldom is a remake of a movie ever as good or, less seldom, ever better and “My Cousin Rachel” certainly isn’t as good as the original which was made in 1954 and featured Richard Burton in his first American movie earning an Oscar nomination for his role as Philip Ashley. Philip is an orphan and adopted by his cousin, Ambrose, who becomes the father he never knew.

Ambrose goes to Italy because of his health where he meets, falls in love and marries Rachel. He writes Philip praising Rachel until suddenly his letters get darker fearing that she is scheming to kill him. Philip races off to Italy but by the time he gets there Ambrose has died and Rachel is gone. He swears vengeance and her and returns to the estate in England that he will soon inherit on his 25th birthday.

When Rachel eventually shows up at his door his vengeance turns first into puppy love and then a love so deep, so blind, he decides to turn his inheritance, the estate and jewels, over to her at the stroke of midnight on his birthday. It is then that Philip starts to get sick and as Rachel makes him a special brew of tea he gets even sicker.

The question asked at the beginning of the film is “Did she? Didn’t she? Who’s to blame?”. During the film the questions become whether she is just a strong woman at the wrong time and place–the 1830s in England–or a dangerous, bewitching woman who goes after what she wants no matter what sinister behavior it involves?

Sam Claflin, as Philip, is no Richard Burton and gives the weakest performance in the movie. Rachel Weisz, as Rachel, is a good enough actress that you don’t know who she really is and what she wants.

The supporting cast, as in many English movies, is strong but the director-writer Roger Michell who based the film on the novel by Daphne du Maurier, brings it into today’s world of film by having a sex scene, referring to one of the male characters as ‘being more interested in boys than girls”, having the male lead showing a bare backside and doesn’t make the love story more interesting or the suspense, mystery scenes more suspenseful and mysterious.

The bottom line is I really didn’t care if she did it or didn’t do it!

Movie trailer



Posted June 9, 2017 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW, MOVIES

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