Related Articles: Movies, All

The Edge of Love

The Edge of Mediocrity

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars.

Amidst war torn London, poet Dylan Thomas (Matthew Rhys) feebly juggles two women. Vera Phillips (Keira Knightley) is his first love who fortuitously re-enters his life and Caitlin Thomas (Sienna Miller) is Thomasí bohemian wife who ends up forming an odd friendship with Vera. This strange troika teeters precipitously on The Edge of Love.

Further complicating matters is the arrival of William Killick (Cillian Murphy) who is smitten with Vera, which irks Dylan to no end. The Edge of Love strives ardently to be a sweeping epic tale of romance, intrigue, and the perils of love. The backdrop of WWII serves as a suitable backdrop (and metaphor) for the battles all four endure in this dysfunctional romance.

While the setup is initially intriguing, the delivery is a slightly different story. Part of the problem is that none of these characters are particularly well developed. We donít really know why Dylan (or William) is so taken with Vera. Yes, Vera is drop dead gorgeous, but beyond that thereís no real depth to her.

Dylan doesnít seem like a real winner, either. Sure, heís eloquent and handy with a pen, but he seems like a bit of a cad given the way he manipulates Vera and Caitlin. But, they seem to be cool with it. Williamís arrival throws a bit of a wrench into things and his marriage to Vera upon being posted abroad truly pushes all of them to the brink (or edge).

All the key players do a serviceable job with what theyíve been provided, which isnít much ultimately. The lines delivered by Knightley, Rhys, et al. often seem overly pretentious, stilted, and/or overwrought. But, they deliver their lines earnestly and honestly, if not a bit melodramatically at times.

The unfolding of the narrative is largely sloppy and meandering with no clear sense of direction. It seems that most of this is attributable to the writing. The lackluster narrative could be somewhat overlooked if there had been better character development, but The Edge of Love misses largely on both counts.

What weíre left with is a film trying desperately to be epic in scope, but it doesnít ring true most of the time. Itís hard to care too much about these characters as they often seem just plain confused and shallow. The Edge of Love barely manages to rise above the edge of mediocrity.