I will start by saying that I have not read the source material for this movie, nor did I know anything about the movie other than seeing the trailer with my girlfriend and thinking that the movie seemed interesting and worth a watch.
The movie is a small production made by Fox Searchlight Pictures that displays magnificent cinematography (as pictured below), and matches the music perfectly with the tone and spirit of the movie. Weisz was both amazing in her charm, and scary in her mothering tendencies towards Claflin’s character. Claflin’s portrayal of a young man with an immense hatred turned obsession towards Rachel was an interesting turn as both feelings are passion based and is opposite sides of a knife. Their chemistry together, however, was just not great. It really felt forced in some moments.
Photo Credit – Fox Searchlight Pictures
The movie builds its suspense and ever growing mystery of did she or didn’t she very well. The movie was a bit long however, growing the suspense without giving anything away other than little clues and looks along the way, that in some moments of the movie I felt sleepy. The story itself is very engaging, however its pacing and long scenes was taking its toll. The ending was confusing, but not entirely satisfying, it ended up just being an okay movie in my opinion. There are a couple of short sex scene (no nudity) where you see a few thrusts, a warning for the more conservative audience.
I was a bit disappointed by the fact that Rachel was in fact not some evil witch or ever find out if she was truly evil or just a convenient conwoman.
Philip’s hatred of Rachel before he meets her is one that is very believable when he thinks that she is responsible for his uncle’s death. Once he meets her however, he is thrown for a loop, not knowing what to believe as she seems very charming, and seems to have genuinely cared for his uncle. His hatred turns to passion over time after she kisses him after they make up from an argument about giving her allowances as she was not part of the last will and testament provided by his uncle. His passion quickly turns into obsession and leads Philip to demand a contract be created where everything that his uncle left him, would go to her instead, thinking she would marry him. He then falls ill, and shows signs of what befell his uncle, leading the audience to think that Rachel is about to strike again.
The ending sequence of the movie where Philip is starting to piece together the clues that were laid out throughout the movie was interesting and clever, however the payoff at the end was both interesting and lame. When Rachel tells him about a tree nearby that is poisonous to humans, with her giving him tisanes that she makes herself really lends to the paranoia that strikes Philip. Philip tells Rachel that there are seal pups near the cliff where he almost fell to his death earlier in the movie, after thinking for sure that she was in fact responsible for his uncle’s death, leads her to her death.
The next scene where Philip and Louise find clues that Rachel was going to give back the jewelry that he had given to her, as well as planning on taking him with her back to Italy to care for him, but not marry (clause in the contract mentioned above). He realizes that she might not be entirely evil after all. It felt very unsatisfying that we never find out if she did, or didn’t kill his uncle, as well as did she poison Philip. I both hated and enjoyed the open-ending – ness of the film.
Spoilers are done!!
Overall I liked the movie, but it was not entirely what I thought it was going to be. The characters were well played, but the chemistry, length of the movie and ending was lacking. I would give this movie a 6.5/10.
What did you think of My Cousin Rachel? Do you plan on seeing the movie? Do you agree with my score? Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear from you!
Tags: My Cousin Rachel