MovieChat Forums > The 7.39 (2014) Discussion > The art of British adultery

The art of British adultery


Basically, this is the 2014 version of David Lean's marvellous "Brief Encounter", another movie where things happened because the two protagonists spent lots of time waiting for trains, and therefore could "conveniently" know each other. That movie remains to me the most perfect portrayal of guilt ever filmed.

"The 7.39" is basically the same story, give or take some modern morals. Unencumbered by questions like "Oh God where is the story heading to?" -- each subsequent development was pretty obvious --- I enjoyed the rather believable dialogue, their shaky happiness, and their stupid mistakes.

I also enjoyed Olivia Colman running rings around her husband with tiny questions, mundane things we'd all ask to our partners, but she was adding them all up (and he fell into each of her traps, because "good people never think they're doing anything bad", or whatever she hissed to Sally at the end, so he was too stupidly in love to cover his tracks).

It's a story where the women have all the brains and the men act worse than Anna Karenina; when Olivia gave her scary, vindictive speech at the hospital - what a fantastic scene, how much disappointment and rage into a few lines, "we were a team", etc - something inside him shattered, hence the fiasco at the cottage, and in another tiny moment of brilliance, Sally went "Describe the sequence of events. How can this end happily?" - which he hadn't even thought through.

I found it lovely. Only, I watched this on my own, and now I'm undecided: should I watch it again with my partner because he'd like it, or just avoid it in case it gets all too uncomfortable...!?

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[deleted]

I liked the film too....but it is presumptuous that adultery gets found out. People can have affairs for years and never get discovered. I am sure he could have covered it up better...but then maybe that's what the marriage needed to get it back on track.

Loved the ending...they both seemed happy and moving on with their lives

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[deleted]

I agree it's not presumptuous: they got caught so quickly by the wife (remember that Duracell Bunny fiancé had no clue at all, the silly thing) because their family life was such an ingrained routine that any little thing, like the guy joining a gym, or losing his temper at the daughter because of the violin, or the very naïve "I made a friend on the train" were alarm bells, serious enough to justify following him all the way to London. He didn't see the affair coming, so he didn't have the Manual of the Perfect Cheat to consult; he made... rookie mistakes.

Also, if he's been faithful for 17 long years, he probably never had many reasons to lie to his wife before, so she noticed the sudden changes quicker.

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