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The Sense Of An Ending  : Closure With A Bit Of Pleasure
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Friday, May 19, 2017
Ritesh Batra
Jim Broadbent, Michelle Dockery, Charlotte Rampling, Emily Mortimer, Harriet Walter

Director Ritesh Batra who delighted the audience with a freshly minted Lunchbox, goes a bit more conventional by picking up Julian Barnes’ prize-winning book to base his next.  But the film he makes has the same endearing patina of humour below which lies a whole range of emotions, just like Lunch Box did. It’s a relief when a heavy past thus gets light-hearted packaging.And the past comes in little bits with a twist that helps put a lid on an old niggling guilt.


The humdrum existence of retired Tony Webster gets a purpose when a letter with a legacy arrives. It makes him catch up with and face the past, mirthful and hateful.


The chapter that hasn’t been closedlargely revolves around his first love, the unpredictable Veronica, her attractive mother, and Adrian, his classmate, who had his own spin on suicide.


Tony sits his ex-wife Margaret down as his listening partner as he updates her with vignettes from way back, even letting her read a horrid letter he wrote to Adrianand Veronica in high school. Did that drive Adrian over the edge?


Tony’s revisit to secrets and regrets and learning afresh from them, nudges him to go from cantankerous to a little more caring about other people. It’s there in obvious measures when he heals wounds of the past with Margaret his ex-wife, and in subtle ways when the courier man who normally got the door shut on his face, gets invited in for a cuppa.


But this leisurely narrated relationships story won’t be everybody’s cup of tea. It’s casual everyday Britain with beauty in its surroundings and in the unfolding of a drama without melodrama.


Jim Broadbent’s twinkling eyes make him lovable and not deplorable as Tony Webster. In fact you go on his trip to the past with empathy and that hand luggage of humour to make light the journey. Harriet Walter as his ex-wife and Charlotte Rampling as first love Veronica pitch in alternately to support Broadbent’s performance. Emily Mortimer as Veronica’s mother has the sauciness to make what unfolds believable.


For a healthy storytelling that unwraps one man’s journey until closure, The Sense Of An Ending gets a 3* rating.  


Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author
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