The End Of The Affair


Directed by: Neil Jordan
Written by:Neil Jordan
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Stephen Rea, Julianne Moore, Ian Hart
Released: March 9, 2000
Grade: B+

The End Of The Affair is based on the classic novel from Graham Greene which is told here by director Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, Interview With A Vampire, Michael Collins).  In typical Jordan style, it’s dark and deliberate.  Every scene is meticulously created to revive the era of the film.

Set in the 1940s, we find our two lovers Sarah Miles (Moore) and Maurice Bendrix (Fiennes).  They are passionately in love which each other but there is a catch - she is married to Henry (Rea), and although her marriage is anything but lustful, she feels the guilt of her actions and cannot gather the will to divorce him.

After a passionate moment one evening, Maurice is injured in a bomb blast and Sarah proceeds to leave him.  Maurice recovers but everything has changed between them.  They would never see each other again for two years when a chance encounter in the rain would reunite them and reignite their affections for each other.

This is above the level of a usual period piece film.  The performances of the whole cast are wonderful but I was most impressed with Stephen Rea in his supporting role as the husband.  He subtly portrays the role and seems the most down-to-earth of the trio.  Ian Hart is also excellent in a small role as a detective.

Neil Jordan’s direction is creative as the story is told in two time frames.  Both the current and past are told simultaneously and flow well - interest is maintained.

A tiring aspect of the film is it subject material.  It’s certainly not a new idea to have a traumatic love triangle and this film does not offer much of a fresh insight.  It’s sure to bore many but the style in which the story is told keeps it well above average.