Film Review: My Cousin Rachel (2017).

© 2017 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – 4/5.

Author: Feargal Agard | Runtime: 106 min. | Director: Roger Michell | Year: 2017.

What a brilliant film! The film has such an ominous feel. It makes you analyze the characters actions and long for the reveal. What is really going on? When will we find out? And if there really is a foul antagonist present, when will she or he finally show his or her true colors. I will tell you one thing. The ending was quite unpredictable.

My Cousin Rachel tells the story of the young Englishman Philip (Sam Claflin), who suspects his late cousin’s wife, Rachel (Rachel Weisz), of murdering her husband. This is caused by the letters that his cousin wrote and sent to him from Italy, until he hears that he died. Philip decides to go to Italy to give his respects to his cousin. During his visit in Italy he discovers that his cousin was already buried and Rachel had packed her bags and left for England. He goes back to find out that she is in town and he invites her to stay with him at his estate. He notices that Rachel is very beautiful and while he suspects her and desires to find out what happened, he falls under the beguiling spell of her charms. As they become closer he turns into a man who is madly in love with her and willing to give her everything that he owns. But as he finds more clues in the letters from his cousin he realizes that he might be going through the same stages that his cousin went through before his death. He has absolutely no prove, but remains in a contradictory relationship with Rachel in which he loves her to the end, but continues to distrust her. Is he right? And will he end up like his cousin?

My Cousin Rachel was written and directed by Roger Michell and it is based on the 1951 novel of the same name by Daphne du Maurier. What I liked mostly about this film is that it crudely surprised me with a quite unexpected and unpredictable ending. The film takes place in 18th century England and it has the same setting and feel such as Pride and Prejudice (2005). It is all about the drama and the mystery. Thematically it deals with issues such as revenge, love, family, property and paranoia. The perfect mixture for a great narrative. With a story that might even be referred to as a psychological game. The film stars Rachel Weisz (The Youth, The Constant Gardener), Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay), Iain Glen (Game of Thrones), Holliday Grainger (Cinderella), Andrew Knott, Poppy Lee Friar and Pierfrancesco Favino.

The acting performances are an enjoyment to see. Sam Claflin is perfectly obsessed and the paranoia is able to be seen in his eyes. Every bit of his moves are believable. From the moment he sets on to take revenge to the point that he becomes enchanted with Rachel and decides to do everything he can for her. In hopes of getting married to her. The same counts for Rachel Weisz. She was absolutely amazing. She was innocent-looking and at the same time super mysterious, misleading, full of charms and ominous in a witch-like way. Her stunning performance was very believable and exceptional. She truly knows how to play the character and the spectators watching this film.

The cinematography and mise-en-scène is very gorgeous and picturesque. The views of the landscapes that surround the estates and the coastlines are astonishing. Every time when we are confronted with conversations the camera kind of creeps up on to the characters. We often spy on them from behind a vase, balusters from a railing, or through flowers. It is almost as if we are eavesdropping on them, which allows our suspicion to grow within us as spectators. Apart from that, the music is very fitting and the attires and settings look very authentic.

My Cousin Rachel is an exciting film with a lot of tension and psychological deception. I do have to confirm that it is referred to as a thriller, from which it does share some of those tendencies, but I would not want to mislead anyone into believing that it is an all out and about kind of thriller film. It is ominous, somewhat full of tension, but it is mostly about the paranoia and psychological craze that grows in the lead character. I absolutely recommend this film to anyone who likes a film set in the late 18th century with a thriller twist.

In Dutch theatres as from the 22nd of June 2017.

Genre: Drama, mystery, romance | Language: English, Italian | Dutch Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures International Holland.

In regard of all pictures and trailer footage. © 2017 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

1 Comment

Comments are closed.