45 Years: Chilling Martial Drama

A week before Kate (Charlotte Rambling) and Geoff’s (Tom Courtenay) 45th wedding anniversary, Geoff receives a letter informing him that the body of a long lost love, killed in a hiking accident has been found.

The news brings a dark cloud down on the lives of this seemingly happy couple. Old wounds are opened, feelings, thought to be long lost, are revisited and this seemingly perfect marriage begins to unravel.

The brilliance of this movie is the power, not in what is being said, but in what is left unsaid.

In Ramblings meaningful glances, in Courtenay’s uncomfortable fidgeting, in the increasingly quiet dinners, in the heavy silence between the couple as they lie side by side at night, are clues and reminders of the dark truths that taint the memory of this long marriage.

This movie, not unlike a real life relationship, is all about the small moments, and the little details that dictate how we view the bigger picture.

The Chemistry between Rambling and Courtenay is undeniable, the pair seem to share a genuine connection and a closeness that make Kate and Geoff’s 45 year long relationship instantly believable.

Charlotte Rambling has been nominated for an Oscar for her role in this film and rightly so. Her character, Kate’s world is falling out from beneath her feet, she fights bravely to keep her composure while her husband becomes increasingly obsessed with revisiting the past, as well as the life he almost had.

While the hopelessness of her character’s unraveling situation, is at times hard to watch, the subtle brilliance of Rambling’s performance makes it even harder to look away.

This film seems to be punctuated by moments of chilling stillness, enhanced by the cold grey melancholy setting of English countryside, it is in these moments of stillness that the emotional drama seems to perch, waiting for the smallest push that will send everything tumbling into chaos and tragedy.

This movie is beautifully shot, brilliantly acted and, above all painfully honest.

It reminds us that in choosing marriage, one makes the absurd choice to pin ones hopes, dreams and happiness on another person. Even after 45 years, a seemingly perfect marriage, has the potential to end in tragedy.

Words by Arabella

Details: 45 Years | 95 minutes | Release date 18 February, 2016 | Directed by Andrew Haigh | Starring Charlotte Rambling and Tom Courtenay