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The End of the Affair

The movie The End of the Affair was based on the book The End of the Affair.

Which one did you like better, the movie or the book?  Right now there are 3 votes for the book, and 2 votes for the movie.

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Movie details for The End of the Affair

The movie was released in 1999 and directed by Neil Jordan, who also directed Interview with the Vampire (1994), The Butcher Boy (1997) and Breakfast on Pluto (2005). The End of the Affair was produced by Sony Pictures. More information on the movie is available on Amazon.com and also IMDb.

Actors on this movie include Ralph Fiennes, Stephen Rea, Julianne Moore, Heather-Jay Jones, James Bolam, Ian Hart, Sam Bould, Cyril Shaps, Penny Morrell, Simon Fisher-Turner, Jason Isaacs, Deborah Findlay, Nicholas Hewetson, Jack McKenzie and Nic Main.

 

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"This is a diary of hate," pounds out novelist Maurice Bendrix (Ralph Fiennes) on his typewriter as he recounts the lost love of his life in this spiritual memoir (based on Graham Greene's novel) with a startling twist. It's London 1946, and Maurice runs ... Read More
"This is a diary of hate," pounds out novelist Maurice Bendrix (Ralph Fiennes) on his typewriter as he recounts the lost love of his life in this spiritual memoir (based on Graham Greene's novel) with a startling twist. It's London 1946, and Maurice runs into his achingly dull school friend Henry (Stephen Rea with a perpetually gloomy hangdog expression). Their meeting is brittle, all small talk and chilly, mannered civility beautifully captured by director-screenwriter Neil Jordan (The Crying Game), and it only barely thaws when Henry suggests that his wife, Sarah (the luminous Julianne Moore), may be having an affair. Maurice's mind reels back to his passionate affair with Sarah during the war years, which she abruptly broke off two years ago. Gripped with a jealousy that hasn't abated, he hires a private detective (a mousy, marvelous Ian Hart) to shadow her movements. He prepares himself for the revelation of a rival but instead finds a deeper, more profound secret: "I tempted fate," she writes in her diary, "and fate accepted."

Jordan's cool remove captures the unease beneath formal manners but never warms into intimacy during the scenes between the lovers, even while Fiennes and Moore almost explode in repressed emotions, their faces cracking under their masks of civility and their resolve shaking through jittery body language. There's more thought than feeling behind this collision of passion and spirituality, but it's a sincere, richly realized portrait of ennui and rage against God energized by brief moments of shattering drama. --Sean Axmaker

Book details for The End of the Affair

The End of the Affair was written by Graham Greene. The book was published in 1951 by Penguin Classics. More information on the book is available on Amazon.com.

Graham Greene also wrote The Quiet American (1955), Honorary Consul (1973) and The Human Factor (1978).

 

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Set in London during and just after World War II, Graham Greene's The End of the Affair is a pathos-laden examination of a three-way collision between love of self, love of another, and love of God. The affair in question involves Maurice Bendrix, a solip... Read More
Set in London during and just after World War II, Graham Greene's The End of the Affair is a pathos-laden examination of a three-way collision between love of self, love of another, and love of God. The affair in question involves Maurice Bendrix, a solipsistic novelist, and a dutifully married woman, Sarah Miles. The lovers meet at a party thrown by Sarah's dreary civil-servant husband, and proceed to liberate each other from boredom and routine unhappiness. Reflecting on the ebullient beginnings of their romance, Bendrix recalls: "There was never any question in those days of who wanted whom--we were together in desire." Indeed, the affair goes on unchecked for several years until, during an afternoon tryst, Bendrix goes downstairs to look for intruders in his basement and a bomb falls on the building. Sarah rushes down to find him lying under a fallen door, and immediately makes a deal with God, whom she has never particularly cared for. "I love him and I'll do anything if you'll make him alive.... I'll give him up forever, only let him be alive with a chance.... People can love each other without seeing each other, can't they, they love You all their lives without seeing You."

Bendrix, as evidenced by his ability to tell the story, is not dead, merely unconscious, and so Sarah must keep her promise. She breaks off the relationship without giving a reason, leaving Bendrix mystified and angry. The only explanation he can think of is that she's left him for another man. It isn't until years later, when he hires a private detective to ascertain the truth, that he learns of her impassioned vow. Sarah herself comes to understand her move through a strange rationalization. Writing to God in her journal, she says:

You willed our separation, but he [Bendrix] willed it too. He worked for it with his anger and his jealousy, and he worked for it with his love. For he gave me so much love, and I gave him so much love that soon there wasn't anything left, when we'd finished, but You.
It's as though the pull toward faith were inevitable, if incomprehensible--perhaps as punishment for her sin of adultery. In her final years, Sarah's faith only deepens, even as she remains haunted by the bombing and the power of her own attraction to God. Set against the backdrop of a war-ravaged city, The End of the Affair is equally haunting as it lays forth the question of what constitutes love in troubling, unequivocal terms. --Melanie Rehak