Based on a novel by Ian McEwan which itself is not easy to distil. Benedict Cumberbatch plays writer Stephen who loses his 4 year old daughter in a supermarket and is haunted by this loss as this mystical story flits backwards and forward in time.
The jumbled up narrative leaves you unimpressed and confused, but at least you are taken in by Stephen's will to survive, take each day as it comes as in his mind his daughter is visible and there but also lost.
In the meantime his marriage has fallen apart with his wife Julie (Kelly Macdonald) who blames him and then a few years later of them having a warmer relationship although the film ends with the unexpected birth of their son, the conception must have taken place before they separated or they briefly reconciled.
The film also has a secondary story of Stephen's publisher and friend Charles Darke (Stephen Campbell Moore) having some kind of nervous breakdown and becoming increasingly child like. It not less a person than the British Prime Minister who tells Stephen to keep an eye on Charles. At first you might think this behaviour might be to something with Charles being involved in the abduction? It seems that is not the case.
Charles becomes a man mentally in a childlike state lost in time whereas Stephen has lost his daughter physically. As the years go on it is Julie who tells him that one day it is likely the daughter will end up looking for them.
The book was written in 1987 and maybe the film would have been more successful if it was set in the past. For example nowadays supermarkets have CCTV everywhere and security guards on the door. You cannot just walk into a school or classroom like you did 30 years ago.
The Child in Time
The Child in Time
Children's author Stephen Lewis is shopping with 4-year old daughter Kate when she suddenly disappears. Failure to find her puts a strain on his marriage, his wife Julie leaving to live in a seaside village, though Stephen regularly visits her. Stephen continues to write but is asked by the prime minister to check on his best friend Charles Dark, who has resigned his cabinet membership to live in an isolated woodland retreat with his wife Thelma. Stephen is perturbed by Charles' apparent regression to childhood, reminding him of his own loss and, returning to London, erroneously believes that another little girl is Kate. Three years after the disappearance Thelma asks Stephen, still keeping Kate's room for her, for help with the increasingly disturbed Charles, leading to a shocking discovery though a later phone call from Julie provides a new beginning for them both.
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September 07, 2018 at 08:58 AM