• Waterland
    2 minutes 53 seconds
    Added: May 9, 2008

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Waterland Reviews

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hunterjt13
hunterjt13

Super Reviewer

November 24, 2010
Based on the novel by Graham Swift - a wonderful British author - Waterland tells the story of a history teacher who tells his students as much about himself as he does history. What is strong about the novel is what is weak about the film. The novel explores a post-modern conception of history that suggests we get stuck in these endless spirals of ironic happenstance, and in order to understand it all, we must go back, and in order to understand what we see when we go back, we must go back farther and farther. There's a little bit of this in the film, but certainly not enough for the audience to understand Swift's point. Instead of a complex exploration of post-modern theory and history, we're left with a fairly basic film about a man dealing with the events of his childhood. And how does that story fair? Not badly. It has its moments of affecting drama, both in the present and the past, but it's devoid of any grand significance. Additionally, the ending is too intentionally vague. We're given to understand certain conclusions about these characters' futures, but we can't figure out how they get from the point A, when the credits roll, to the point B, which we are told will happen. What is more, the plot-line between Crick and Price ends in a disappointing cliche.
Overall, I think I should like this film less than I do. In the end, I think the source material, Swift's book, is so good, and the performances by Irons, Cusack, and Warnock were good enough to make up for the failings of the screenwriter and director.
June 27, 2007
A semi-interesting film... I think Jeremy Irons is a great actor and Ethan Hawke is pretty good as well, but this movie doesn't really show either of their potential...
Gaston P.
April 15, 2010
Jeremy Irons stars as Tom Crick, a morose (typical Irons) history teacher who's past is full of tragedies and oddly grim experiences. He becomes nervous after being unable of successfully teaching his students about the French revolution, so he starts sharing his painful experiences about his teenage days.

The most interesting part about the plot is how he describes his past in the fenlands of England, and storytelling takes an interesting turn where there's a point in which the line between present and past blurs, showing Jeremy Irons with his students as if they were going on a field trip through Irons's story. Ethan Hawke plays a rebellious student who begins questioning Crick's stories and tells him that he just wants to keep the students interested.

Another key character in the story is Tom Crick's wife Mary, who shared much of Tom's experiences in the past to the point where it's shown that they used to have sex in an abandoned mill. Something crucial happens that also involves Tom's mentally handicapped brother leading to a tragic chapter in Tom's life. Mary becomes unable to bear a baby and that troubles her to the point of stealing a baby.

Waterland is a touching film, the events are shown carefully through Crick's stories. Everything that happens contributes to Crick's pain and it's not hard to see why. In Crick's stories we see how he begins as a carefree, joyful teenager and slowly becomes depressed because of the events told in the stories.

It is a very recommendable film, even though it has it's flaws. The developing of the plot is very original and interesting because of its careful structure, and the performances are excellent, even better than the plot itself, Jeremy Irons holds everything together pretty well with his performance and in the end the viewer really feels sad for Irons's character.
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