I actually really loved the story in the film so much I got a copy of the book and read it. Alas, the movie was not as compelling. So sad. Keira was probably the best actress for the part of H élène. Michael Pitt is beautiful and a good actor, but I just didn't think he is a great actor to play Herv é. He showed the same disposition throughout the movie where in the book, Herv é went through phases of grief and happiness.
The chemistry between Keira and Michael could have been better, but the chemistry between Michael and Sea Ashina was so non-existent that the characters struggle to forget her was not believable. Betraying H élène was not believable. Michael Pitt also looked and sounded stoned throughout. His voice is nice, but it's so lazy. Keira's voice is beautiful though when you heard her reading the love letter at the end.
It is a such a great story of selfless love and the movie turned it into a tragedy. The movie itself was a sort of tragedy especially since it had the potential to be so much more. It is so ADD unfriendly. The beginning... whatever. The middle... so boring. The end was the best part because that was the time when the focus was actually on H élène... and there was a great twist. The ending was perhaps worth the wait, but it was a long, tiresome wait.
I always wanted to watch this when I saw photos from the film shoot in a magazine, but didn't hear anything about it when it came out. Forgot about it. I only watched it recently.
The book is so much the opposite of the movie because it is so short and concise. It's like an epic poem and was easy to follow. ADD friendly. Keira's character, H élène, actually shows emotion in it, but they cut that part out. There was a part in the book where there were hundreds of birds flying out of their cages and it would have been glorious to see that on film. Too bad.
The screenplay did not capture the essence of the story very well. Girard, as a director, is so old school. Nothing innovative about the film at all. I did like the part with Keira in the water, but the rest of the film did nothing to enhance the experience of the story. The story is so lovely and the movie had beautiful parts. Beautiful movie that had the potential to be extraordinary, but failed.