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The Sense of an Ending

Ritesh Batra

From the source material (Julian Barnes’ Man Booker Prizewinning novel) to the cast (Jim Broadbent and Charlotte Rampling), The Sense of an Ending had quality written all over it as soon as the production was announced. We are delighted to tell you that the predictions were correct, and the film, directed by Ritesh Batra (The Lunchbox) even manages to exceed expectations. A wonderfully complex story about the memories, mistakes and misunderstandings which shape a life, this is a class act from beginning to end.

"...a class act from beginning to end."

Tony Webster (Broadbent) lives a fairly self-satisfied, comfortable existence. He spends his days running a tiny second-hand camera shop, managing a spikey but constant relationship with his ex-wife (the brilliant Harriet Walter), and providing what he considers to be moral support to his heavily pregnant daughter (Michelle Dockery). But when a letter arrives out of the blue informing him of an inheritance from the mother of his first love, Veronica, Tony begins to re-examine his past. Looking for answers, he tracks down Veronica (Rampling), who implies his youthful actions were much darker than he recalls. Told and re-told in flashbacks, we learn the truth as Tony does, in stages, with each encounter reminding him that the behaviour he thought jovial and nonchalant was at times also cruel and lasting.

Broadbent and Rampling are perfectly cast and it is a delight to watch these two consummate actors work together on screen. Batra has once again elicited terrific performances from the entire ensemble cast and delivered an intelligent, absorbing film that displays a wonderful warmth and understanding of its characters, flaws and all.