Friday, 20 June 2008

EIFF: The Kreutzer Sonata - Review by Guest Contributor Marjorie Gallagher

Director: Bernard Rose
Running Time: 100mins

Love. Everyone needs it, everyone wants it. What happens when you get it? Edgar (Danny Houston) and Abby (Elisabeth Rohm) meet at a party. She’s attached, he’s not. They give in and go at it anyway. Lust, desire, sex, deception, obsession and jealousy are all part and parcel of relationships in Bernard Rose’s The Kreutzer Sonata. Based on Tolstoy’s novella and set to Beethoven’s piece of the same name, Rose’s low budget, no-frills depiction of one man’s obsessive jealousy over his wife, and its fatal outcome, is unnervingly realistic. Shot mostly on handy-cam, Sonata has an uneasy, voyeuristic quality. Moments of hyper-reality, shots speeded up or slowed down in time with the music, emphasise Edgar’s distorted view of his relationship. Both Houston and Rohm give tour-de-force performances. The rich-voiced Houston is unsettlingly charming whereas Rohm is unassumingly sexy. Brought together on-screen they simply ooze eroticism. Angelica Houston also cameos in this fascinating analysis of the modern-day marriage.

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