Review: Truly Madly Deeply (1991)


Director: Anthony Minghella | 106 minutes | drama, fantasy, music, romance | Actors: Juliet Stevenson, Jenny Howe, Alan Rickman, Carolyn Choa, Bill Paterson, Christopher Rozycki, Keith Bartlett, David Ryall, Stella Maris, Ian Hawkes, Deborah Findlay, Vania Vilers, Arturo Venegas, Richard Syms, Michael Maloney

Truly Madly Deeply, written and directed by Anthony Minghella is a warm film about the loss of a loved one and how to deal with it. Juliet Stevenson plays Nina, a young woman with a warm personality, a role that suits her well. She struggles with the loss of her suddenly dead husband Jamie (Alan Rickman) and is on the brink of collapse. Then Jamie comes back and she doesn’t know what is happening to her. This scene is incredibly beautifully filmed and conceived and the music is moving, the makers have used Bach and that fits perfectly into the picture.

Although this is a film with a heavy load, loss and grief, Rickman in combination with Stevenson provides a light comic note. The dialogues are sharp and moving. Clearly a British movie and not a Hollywood origin. That may make it long-winded for some, but that’s the power of this movie. Loving and then letting go is a long process and this film makes that clear in a special way. Minghella is also director of ‘The English Patient’ (1996) and ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley ‘(1999),’ Truly Madly Deeply ‘fits perfectly in that list in terms of story and feeling.

Jamie not only brings back Nina’s zest for life, but also brings along a bunch of friends he’s got to know. This creates the necessary problems and predicament, a light break from the heavy story. Nina wonders if it’s all worth it. When she also encounters the charming Mark (a beautiful role by Michael Maloney), she has to choose between her old love and a new chance for a great love. The viewer is subtly transported into this difficult choice and it is mainly the actors who ensure that one is completely carried away between the two great loves of Nina’s life.

Eventually, Jamie admits and realizes that a living lover is better for her after all and releases her. The way in which Minghella brings this is moving and well chosen.

‘Truly Madly Deeply’ is a beautiful film that shows how difficult the process of letting go. The atmosphere is special and leaves the viewer quiet. The music reinforces the story, this is a typical film in which everything is beautifully in harmony with each other.

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