An Affair To Remember

London in the rain and some interesting characters make this one worth a look-see.

Set during the years 1939 to 1945, "The End Of The Affair" revolves around three people - Henry, a Very Important Person in Her Majesty's government; Sarah, his disillusioned wife who has resigned herself to a loveless marriage; and Maurice, a writer doing an article on Henry who finds himself falling in love with Sarah. Before long, the romance has culminated into a full-blown passionate affair, with secret trysts in apartments and restaurants - until the day a bomb explodes near Maurice's apartment and he is badly injured. Making his way painfully back up to his room, he finds Sarah praying on the bed - a few minutes later, she walks out the door, and out of his life.

Thus begins the end of the affair - in the days and weeks that follow, Maurice is unable to come to terms with the fact of her sudden, inexplicable departure. Two years later, he hires a detective named Parkus to follow Sarah and find out if she is seeing another man - and as the detective's investigation seems to confirm his suspicions, he becomes more and more obsessed with finding out more about Sarah's activities. Finally, one day, he gets his hands on Sarah's diary - and as he reads the entries, he slowly begins to understand why she left him, and what he needs to do to get her back...

London, by any standards, is a beautiful city - and in choosing its rain-swept streets as the backdrop for the film of Graham Greene's autobiographical novel, director Neil Jordan has made a wise choice. More often than not, the city is used as a visual representation of what the film's characters feel - a desolate rainy night in the country is the setting for Maurice's confession of his adulterous affair with Sarah to Henry, while a bombed-out apartment symbolizes the fading of Maurice and Sarah's passion. A great script with some interesting twists, a great cast, and some great city scenes make this one worth the price of admission!

This article was first published on 12 Apr 2000.