Brief Encounter by Noel Coward

Brief Encounter

Some years ago, I requested this book from the library thinking it was the movie. When it finally came, I realized my mistake and got the DVD as well. I thought I may as well read the screenplay. It has been awhile since I read a play rather. Actually, I don’t remember the last time I even read a screenplay.

This is a story about two people who fall in love at the wrong time. It is a story full of observation, simplicity, introspection, and Englishness. It has characters who are repressed, restrained yet they are still capable of deep love and feelings. It captures the yearning and initial rush of new love. It is excellent directed and has a great soundtrack featuring Rachmaninoff.

There is a saying that to make a relationship work you must have chemistry and timing. Alec and Laura had chemistry; there is an almost unexplainable attraction to one another. It is not as if Alec or Laura seem to be terribly unhappily in their marriages or at least in Laura’s case. We know less about Alec. The one thing I am critical about is that Alec is not as developed as Laura; the audience never quite get to know him. Maybe that is the point from Laura’s perspective too. She fell deeply for a man she barely knew, but they had a great yet short time together and she knew that and her own desire for him.

Maybe it is the romantic in me that believes that two married people could fall in love so suddenly because their lives had become so dull and pedantic. It is believable that neither of them seems to have actually ever been in love with their partner. I actually think this story is rather realistic or has emotional reality.

The film portrays these feelings and interactions perfectly.

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