My Cousin Rachel #filmreview

When I first met the Textiliste, back at university, one thing that stood out was how well read she was and I wasn’t. To try and impress, or may be just to avoid looking ignorant I scoured her shelf in her room in Hall for guidance as to what I should read. The Liverpool poets were a good start – Brian Patten and Roger McGough – as well as A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog by Dylan Thomas, mainly because they were short. But I did note some of the longer fiction and one as Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. Not that I read it then. But I did later, after she suggested my own reading material lacked depth. Along with a whole host of other classic writers, I fell for the quality of the writing and the story telling.

Story telling? Odd expression. It should be story showing because the one thing Du Maurier doesn’t do is tell you and never is that more apparent than in the enigmatic character of Cousin Rachel.

It is a tremendous book that has been made into a film of quality and substance, the sort of thing that will be included in A level syllabuses – syllabae? – in the future. If there’s a touch of the overdone gauche in the male lead, there is nothing simplistic about Rachel Weisz portrayal of Rachel. The back story is well revealed and the supporting cast superior to many. At times the music is a touch obvious and the settings a little crass – the Christmas Wassailing completely OTT for instance.

I hope this isn’t a plot spoiler because, really, if you haven’t already read the book YOU SHOULD HAVE, but the speed with which, in the film, Philip falls for Rachel having been fully expecting a murderess is a little stretched, which isn’t the case in the book. But that is a minor gripe when set against a really rather splendid period piece that has done a very fine job of translating a wondrous novel to the screen.

I know, I know, this is almost gushing for one of my reviews and, in my defence, we went to the East Dulwich Picturehouse, opposite which is a really splendid gelateria. The combo of Madagascan Vanilla and Salted caramel was optimally priced and more than  acceptable and probably created in my a more beneficent state of mind than is usual – a critic should always view a movie through the prism of frozen cream. But really, do see this one. As a period thingy goes it’s up there with Casablanca and the Titfield Thunderbolt. That really is a compliment!

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published three books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars and Salisbury Square. In addition I published an anthology of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand this summer. A fourth book will be out soon. This started life as a novel in a week on this blog and will follow later this year. I blog about all sorts at geofflepard.com and welcome all comments. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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7 Responses to My Cousin Rachel #filmreview

  1. JT Twissel says:

    I’m a big DuMaurier fan so I’ll have tobcheythis movie out – thx!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I saw an interview with Ms Weisz recently in which she said that in order to play the part she had to make a decision about the character’s motives which she didn’t reveal to anyone – not even the director. Since then I have been hanging out to see this movie to see if I can play sleuth 🙂 And of course your gelato fueled critique spurs me on……. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. trifflepudling says:

    I read it along with three or four others of hers when I was at school, but must admit I didn’t really understand it at that age, was too psychological for my literal brain! I still have the copy, though. Glad you enjoyed it, we will make efforts t see it somehow!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Praise indeed Geoff, I will definitely have to see this film. How wonderful that you finally got a decent ice-cream too! Mostly you dip out when it comes to your film review days! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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