When it’s over, not beautiful. I did not like the book (first in a series of four), nor the film. I tried to give this film a chance and the opportunity to stand on its own. With a cast led by veteran actors to include Jeremy Irons and Emma Thompson, I had hoped the film would redeem the flaws in the book, but sadly, the film was sloppy and a big disappointment. Ethan and Lena (Alden Ehrenreich & Alice Englert) are forbidden lovers, who uncover dark family secrets that ultimately will change their lives. This was the premise of the story, but the film doesn't get from beginning to end smoothly. The film zips through the romance and events like bullets on an outline. Forbidden love stories work on chemistry, and Ehrenreich and Englert don’t have any. It was painful trying to believe these two characters were falling in love. The best performances came from Irons and Thompson - no surprise there – but they couldn't save the film. The ending was unsatisfying, unclear, and unfinished, hanging at the presumption that a sequel will follow. Even if the story was part of a series, it should still feel like an ending. Star Wars, Hunger Games, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings are great examples of series that finish with solid endings, while leaving the door ajar for the next film.
My rating: 2 out of 5
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