Wetherby

1985

Action / Drama / Mystery

34
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 80%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 44%
IMDb Rating 7.1 10 1247

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Judi Dench as Marcia Pilborough
Joely Richardson as Young Jean Travers
Vanessa Redgrave as Jean Travers
Ian Holm as Stanley Pilborough
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
811.38 MB
1280*720
English
NR
24.000 fps
12hr 0 min
P/S 1 / 1
1.65 GB
1920*1080
English
NR
24.000 fps
12hr 0 min
P/S 2 / 2

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by gavin6942 6 / 10

A Puzzle?

The mysterious death of an enigmatic young man newly arrived in the suburb of Wetherby releases the long-repressed, dark passions of some of its residents.

Roger Ebert called it "a haunting film, because it dares to suggest that the death of the stranger is important to everyone it touches – because it forces them to decide how alive they really are." That is one way of looking at it. Others have called the film a "puzzle" with pieces out of order and perhaps even missing.

I liked the idea of a man who kills himself for no reason, and everyone around left to wonder. I am less thrilled about some of the follow-up. His life as a mystery seems better to me than exploring it, but others may disagree.

Reviewed by mgl-92037 7 / 10

Superbly acted, but a bit existentially depressing

I agree with the other reviewers that Vanessa Redgrave's performance is the highlight of the film. She plays Jean so perfectly that you can imagine that they plucked the character out of real life and simply filmed her in her natural environs. You won't find any performance by an American star---and I include De Niro, Pacino and the other top Americans of the last 50 years---which is as natural, unaffected and moving at Redgrave's. The other real delight is watching Joely Richardson play the young Jean. She looks like her mother, and she foreshadows the later development of Jean perfectly. The actor who plays Jim is perfect in that small role: handsome, not too bright, very honest and devoted. The next great performance is in the character of John Morgan, perfectly portrayed as a young man who is mentally ill, but not to the extent this is noticed, or dealt with at school. He is intelligent, but unable to relate to people as more than objects, or objectified ideals. As a character, he is creepy in just the right degree---subtly, so that the pieces only fit together later.

I'm not sure how to interpret the events which unfold or are revealed in the last 20 minutes of the film, but however you look at it, this is a depressing, very British outlook on middle age. A kind of, yes life is really awful, but we're here and the worst is behind us. In mood and final resolution, as well as in having a teacher as the central character, this movie has echoes of Michael Redgrave's very fine movie, The Browning Version.

Finally, I don't see any significance to politics in this movie. The film is a story of character development and revelation. Don't watch this movie if you are easily bored, or easily depressed, for that matter. Watch it if you want to see some really fine acting, and want to be provoked a bit.

Reviewed by lasttimeisaw 8 / 10

a beguiling myth

British renowned playwright David Hare's feature film debut, WETHERBY was bestowed with Golden Berlin Bear, an honor shared with Rainer Simon's THE WOMAN AND THE STRANGER in 1985.

In the centre of the story is a mysterious suicidal case, a disaffected young man John Morgan (McInnerney) has shot himself in front of Jean Travers (Redgrave), a middle-aged high school teacher he contacts only one day earlier as an unbidden guest to her dinner party with her married friends. This premise sounds quite unrealistic in real life, but in Hare's text, everything has been subsumed into a symbolical existence, which leaves the narrative often fragmented, jump between present and past, before-or-after Morgan's blunt action, achieved by a rapid editing modus operandi. Ellipsis and lacunae, abrupt plot devices, implicit dialogues, those are the weapons in Hare's possession to challenge viewers' understanding and assimilation of the whole myth, which also renders his social criticism of its era unobtrusively rapier-like.

The suicide's repercussions evoke Jean's buried memory of her youth (play by Redgrave's daughter Richardson, who is brilliantly elegant in her very early screen presence) in 1950s, when she lost her lover Jim (Hines) who volunteers to fight in British Malaya instigated by some airy-fairy nationalism. She never marries, her life has been perpetuated in the rut ever since, but Jean is not a disillusioned soul, she loves teaching and is beloved by her pupils, she enjoys the company of her friends, particularly, Marcia (Dench, who earns a baffling BAFTA nomination since she is barely required to do anything special here), her best friend since teenage years, and Stanley (Holm), Marcia's solicitor husband, he and Jean would meet in bars for some drink, have a tête-à-tête or simply enjoy the comforting silence.

Yet, in the eyes of this reticent John Morgan, she shares the same loneliness that has afflicted on him for a long time, to a point he is mulling over the option of suicide, but again Hare's elusive approach only leaves hints, no exposition, we sees Morgan, a college student, follows Marcia with unrevealed motive and it is through her, his interest alights on Jean eventually, and Hare rebelliously disrupts the narrative thread with sporadic flashbacks until finally discloses what has happened between Jean and John that night, alone, and defiantly, that offers no direct satisfaction to audience either, but trickles of clues might or might not account for John's decision.

The great Vanessa Redgrave, engages in a palpably compassionate rendition of Jean's weather- seasoned inscrutability spiked with a tinge of singular vim and vigor, there is a certain modernity in her character which makes her an almost indestructible entity, not even decades of loneliness, that's where she differs from John, she is a real trooper who admirably holds sway of her own life. Tim McInnerny (mostly remembered as Lord Percy in BLACK ADDER TV series), is consistently nuanced in his feature film debut, John's pain has never emerged from his blank veneer, but he intrigues our attention every time he materialises.

Saddled with lugubrious dirges and symphonic longueur, WETHERBY is an oddly beguiling film, delving into the mystic vicissitude of human's mentality with its oblique syntax and an absolutely fascinating lead performer.

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