Jeremy Irons plays a history teacher who, in an effort to sort through his own
problems, abandons his regular curriculum and begins to tell the story of his childhood,
growing up in the boggy "Fenlands" of England, before WWII. He tells his
students of a young girl who will never be able to have children as a result of a botched
abortion. He is speaking about his own wife, who, still traumatized by the event,
has recently stolen a baby from in front of a convenience store.
An unusual bus is used to illustrate how clearly the students are
"seeing" the story. With lecture hall type seating on the back, the
teacher and students are transported in time to the Fenlands, where they witness
first-hand the events recounted by their teacher.
A thought-provoking "coming of age" film, based on the novel by
Graham Swift, Waterland is a successful fusion of past and present.
Runtime: 95 Minutes
"The movie was nothing compared to the book. It was
more like a five minute summary of Tom Crick's life and used some rancy ""time
travel"" to mix in the classs discussion to Tom's story. It could have been done
much more professioanlly with a bit more thought. The movie needed to be longer and
explain some of the possibly boring but much needed aspects that were in the book and not
showed in the movie.
I hate all the stars except for Jeremy Irons and Ethan Hawk who can actually act."
The movie is crud compared to the masterpiece written by Swift. The movie kills the
book. It compacts all that made the book good and throws in some unnecessary nudity to
attract the attention of people who can't follow the extremely dodgy."
From: " A C Plogg"
"Waterland the movie was rather brief compared to the
marvelous, well detailed book. Swift is a superb writer who deserves credit all
"Movies are movies. Books are books."
From: "Alan Petty"
"The actual storyline may alter slightly from the book and this leads to a storyline that people have either tended to hate or to love with opinions to support either judgement.
I feel that some of the criticism towards the film may of been heavy handed and although the storyline may alter from Swift's original idea, the concept pulls through; Although the scene's of students traveling through Crick's recollections did seem corny.
However storyline aside, the film contains some outstanding film work and the use of composition, space and light in the scenes is truely artistic and worth of merit; Especially in the scenes from Crick's past in which the settings and use of environment create some stunning scenes in which the landscapes adds to and en-powers the atmospheres and emotions of the film.
The film also sees memorable performances from Jeremy Irons, Sinead Cusack, Lena Headly and David Morrissey who defined their roles well. I believe that in this performance Morrissey captured his character well and brought a truth to a character that other performers would of gave less favourable performances and this shows the skill and diversity of Morrissey as an actor.
Therefore my general conclusion about the film is that it has some very strong aspects. However these aspects can at points be overlooked as the film jumps from modern to past and the film would probably of worked better if the history was followed through from past to present day or the time tripping was used in a more sensitive way, without the students who seem to be bundled along for the
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