Based on the 1951 novel by Daphne du Maurier this romantic thriller, set in Victorian-era England, should captivate audiences with its gothic atmosphere and incessant mystery. Rachel Weisz leads the cast, as the deliciously deceptive black widow, originally portrayed on screen by Olivia de Havilland.
This classic dark tale entrances audiences from the onset, as Philip Ashley (Sam Claflin) expresses concern for his cousin Ambrose who is being tormented by his wife Rachel. Philip soon learns of his cousin’s death and strongly suspects he may have been murdered by his ‘loving’ spouse.
As the story progresses, Philip promises to avenge his cousin’s death and predictably, in true soapy fashion, becomes obsessed and falls in love with the beautiful yet evil woman, as she begins to spin her web of deceit.
Elegantly brought to the screen, the seductive tale benefits from the sweeping beauty of undulating landscapes and signature monuments in Florence, Italy.
But in the grandness of this production, flaws are evident, headed by the expedient nature of story developments, notably Philip’s wild anger and desire for retribution unrealistically dissipating the moment he meets the protagonist.
The unpredictably abrupt finale is also underwhelming and compounds to signify that the adaption of a novel to the screen is an arduous task. (MMo)