"Thus open the gates of paradise."

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The End Of The Affair

06 Apr 2002

Stephen Rea and Ralph Fiennes.
Photo from the Official Web Site

I have just returned from a screening of "The End Of The Affair." No, I did not go with anyone.

The film is based on a book by Graham Greene, author of fine high school English class material such as The Power And The Glory. We read that in grade 12 without much enthusiasm. That story takes place somewhere in Latin America, somewhere hot, and its torpor transcended the page so that we all felt tired and listless as we read. I remember it involving a character known chiefly as the mestizo. When I asked our teacher what that meant, she blinked at me through thick glasses and from the back of her throat mouthed: "Bum." A loose translation at best, and not an encouraging introduction to Greene's work.

Seventeen years have passed since then, and to this day, I have still not knowingly read another of Greene's novels. Having seen this film might change my mind, not least of all because of its complete lack of bums. It's a good story that explores the nature of love, the contracts we make with each other, and the bargains we strike with God.

Stephen Rea plays a Sad Man. He is here because this is a Neil Jordan movie, and that's just fine. Ralph Fiennes is The Lover, and Julianne Moore is The Woman. What do you need, a road map? Figure it out for yourself.

Related Sites
The End Of The Affair (Official Site)
The End Of The Affair (IMDB)