Vox Nova at the Movies: The End of the Affair

Vox Nova at the Movies: The End of the Affair April 22, 2009

This is an awful movie based on a fabulous book. Don’t see it.

The book, one of Graham Greene’s best, was perhaps the best exposition ever presented of what might be called the argument from hate (I hate God, and therefore must concede He exists). Bendrix, the protagonist of the book and film, is a writer during WWII whose lover, Sarah, has recently left him. When her husband approaches him and confesses he suspects her of adultery, Bendrix agrees to investigate, and eventually finds his suspicions confirmed, though not as he expected.

The film makes two chief errors. The first has to do with casting. While Ralph Fiennes does a passable job as Bendrix, Julianne Moore seems to have been cast mainly based on her physical resemblance to Greene’s real life mistress, Lady Catherine Walston. Much more troubling, the film alters the ending in a way that undercuts the whole purpose of the story. While I wholeheartedly recommend Greene’s novel, I cannot recommend this adaptation.

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