Watch On Chesil Beach
- 1 hr 50 min
On Chesil Beach is a compelling 2017 romantic drama directed by Dominic Cooke, based on the novel by Ian McEwan. Set in the early 1960s, the film stars Billy Howle and Saoirse Ronan as young lovers from vastly different backgrounds: Edward Mayhew, a working-class graduate student, and Florence Ponting, a musician and daughter of a wealthy family.
The movie begins with Edward and Florence on their wedding day, nervously anticipating their first night together as husband and wife. From the opening shots, the film establishes a tone of tension and unease, as the couple struggles to navigate the awkwardness and intimacy of their newfound relationship. As they sit down to dinner in their honeymoon suite, the camera lingers on their anxious expressions as they fumble through small talk and forced laughter.
As the night progresses, the tension between Edward and Florence only increases. Both of them have deep-seated fears and anxieties about sex and intimacy, which are exacerbated by their societal expectations of marriage and their own conflicting desires. Edward is eager to consummate their relationship, while Florence recoils at the thought, haunted by traumatic events from her childhood.
Throughout the course of the night, the film flashes back to earlier moments in Edward and Florence's courtship, giving us a deeper insight into their characters and relationship. We see their first meeting at a jazz concert, where Florence is playing in a string quartet and Edward is drawn to her beauty and talent. We witness their early dates, filled with longing glances and hesitant confessions of love.
Despite these tender moments, however, the film makes clear that there are fundamental differences between Edward and Florence that threaten to tear them apart. Edward is impulsive and passionate, with a zest for life that belies his humble beginnings. Florence, by contrast, is reserved and introspective, struggling to communicate her emotions and connect with others.
As the night wears on, the couple's tension and anxiety reach a fever pitch. Without giving away any spoilers, it suffices to say that their first night together does not go as planned, and the consequences of their actions reverberate through the rest of their lives.
Overall, On Chesil Beach is a beautifully crafted and emotionally resonant film that explores the complexities of love, intimacy, and societal expectations. The performances by Howle and Ronan are nuanced and powerful, conveying the depth of their characters' struggles and desires. The stunning cinematography captures the rugged beauty of the film's coastal setting, contrasting with the claustrophobic intimacy of the honeymoon suite. And the direction and editing are masterful, balancing flashbacks and present-day scenes to create a seamless narrative that feels both intimate and epic.
In short, On Chesil Beach is a must-see film for anyone who appreciates great acting, cinematography, and storytelling. It's a poignant and deeply felt meditation on the human heart and the often-unbridgeable gaps between us, even in the closest of relationships. Truly, it's a film that will stay with you long after the credits roll.
On Chesil Beach is a 2018 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 50 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.3 and a MetaScore of 62.