Sunset Song takes its name from the book voted best Scottish book of all time. No doubt that the book is sublime but this adaptation leaves the audience in the dark for most of it as to the heroine’s motives and desire. It’s so long that by the end you’re praying for the sun to set on this a good hour before it finally does.
Terence Davies directs this adaptation of Sunset Song the story of a feisty and avant garde Chris (Agyness Deyn) who challenges the norms and restrictions put on women in her day. Her father played by the mesmeric Peter Mullan and her true love Ewan by Kevin Guthrie. This may be the story of one individual but through Chris’s story is inextricably linked to that of a Scotland through farming, the First World War and daily life.
Agyness Deyn does an incredible job as Chris and it is because of her that you actually sit through this cumbersome adaptation of a film. The main problem with the film is the direction. Terence Davies needed to decide if he wanted to shoot a linear film or flashbacks but instead of deciding he hedges his bets. The ending is a confusing mess. The story is a rich one and would be better told as a series where the characters are fully developed. The only one fully developed is that of Chris to the detriment of the love story between her and Ewan. All the characters that surround her are two dimensional and so it occasionally it is hard to care or fully engage with her plight.
Sunset Song is released across the UK on Friday 4 December.
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