Atonement is a love-and-war drama movie, starring Keira Knightley and James McAvoy. It shows how a lie can break the lifes of three people at the same time.
The movie is based on the novel by Ian McEwan, and directed by Joe Wright, who also did Pride and Prejudice (also starring Keira Knightley).
The beginning of the movie takes place in an old British country estate, during the interwar period. The scenes go on with the implacable rhythm of typewriter keys.
Then Briony Tallis (Saoirse Roman), a rich girl, makes a mistake that will irreparably change three lifes. She accuses Robbie Turner (James McAvoy), the son of one of her family’s servant, of sexual assault and he goes to jail. Briony’s elder sister, Cecilia Tallis (Keira Knightley) who just found out she’s loved and in love with Robbie goes away from her family and becomes a nurse.
The rest of the movie happens during World War II. Robbie has chosen between war and jail. He is trying to reach Dunkirk in order to come home to Cecilia, waiting for him in London.
The film has very well shot and powerful images, soldiers in France and wounds in London. But the aim of the movie isn’t the love story, nor the war. This is more a movie about guilt and Briony’s attempt to overcome it.