By: Austin Takahashi
Love is a beautiful thing, without it; there would be no heart-shaped chocolates, Disney Channel Valentine’s Special, and self-willed abortions. But the movie industry interprets it as a means of luring millions of teenage, IQ-depraved girls to spend their allowance to see their favorite movie stars fall in the pitiful pit of love.
For the past year, I’ve seen terrible chick flicks poisoning the world faster than global warming. Here in the Philippines, where celebrities and politicians have the same occupation, I go to malls and I see people lining up to movies like High School Musical and Twilight. The couple from HSM has more hypocrisy than hormones inside them, while the couple from Twilight can just slit each other’s throats with a nail-cutter.
I am here with good intentions. I am here to tell the world that there are love stories out there that show true emotions that convey deep meaning both internally and externally. In Atonement, we go back to a world where cell phones are not yet used as the main tool of courting.
The first half hour deals with society’s usual outline for a chick flick where boy meets girl. Girl’s 10-year-old sister also likes boy and she catches boy and girl in a library. There, her long ignored question of “Mommy, where do babies come from?” gets answered in a very shocking way.
A couple scenes later, the boy gets sent to prison and was later asked to fight in World War 2. (I’m not telling you why for anti-spoiler reasons. You’re welcome.) So far, the movie is still in a very typical flow of a boring love story. Boy and girl gets separated by the law, and all the couples in the audience are holding each others hands promising that they will never leave each other’s lives. (See how uncool people get when they fall in love?)
Except for the great cinematography, use of flashbacks, and structuring of the plot, I was slightly annoyed for most of the movie thinking that I was spending two more hours of my life watching another chick flick while I could’ve done something more important like picking my nose at Starbucks.
But as the film drew to its final moments, my senses were awakened as a last-minute twist was revealed, leaving me in a state of wonder at the genius on how Atonement used the romance of the couple as a mask that disguised its true message. The film couldn’t have ended in a more perfect way.
Atonement is a gorgeous magic trick. The beauty lies in its revelation on how brilliantly subtle it was performed. One viewing of this film is not enough to truly appreciate it. So I urge you dear reader, ignore New Moon, put on some pants, go to your nearest piracy outlet, buy a copy of Atonement, watch it, eat lunch, digest it, then watch it again.