Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Poet Behaving Badly; the Other Woman: Vera (Keira Knightley) Rocky Relationship: Matthew Rhys as Dylan Thomas with Sienna Miller as His Wife Caitlin in John Maybury's Evocative Period Drama

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Poet Behaving Badly; the Other Woman: Vera (Keira Knightley) Rocky Relationship: Matthew Rhys as Dylan Thomas with Sienna Miller as His Wife Caitlin in John Maybury's Evocative Period Drama

Article excerpt

Byline: DEREK MALCOLM

FILM OF THE WEEK

The Edge of Love Cert 15 110 MINS ***

I SLEEP with other women because I'm a poet, and poets feed off life," saysMatthew Rhys as Dylan Thomas in John Maybury's four-cornered love story.

That's a pretty glib statement, even from the not yet totally alcoholic youngThomas, and there's quite a lot of glibness in the film too.

It doesn't hesitate to embroider the truth for dramatic purposes, which is fairenough in literary love stories, and seems to be promoting as its central ideathat female friendship is quite as important as and possibly longerlasting thanheterosexual love. The friendship is between Caitlin, Thomas's put-upon wife,and Vera, his childhood sweetheart who became his on-off mistress.

The Edge of Love is at least a partial success, having an excellent periodatmosphere and performances from a quartet of stars who do a fair job on ascreenplay that moves backwards and forwards from the banal to the truthful asthe plot progresses.

The foursome are Dylan himself (Rhys plays the poet as an overgrown schoolboywith an immense talent for poetry if not for life), Sienna Miller as Caitlin,Keira Knightley as Vera, the Welsh songstress who loved him but formed apossibly lesbian-tinged friendship with Caitlin, and Cillian Murphy as WilliamKillick. His romance with and marriage to Vera in the end caused a jealousshooting incident during which he sprayed the Thomas cottage with a Sten gunand was tried for attempted murder.

The film, written by Sharman Macdonald, Knightley's mother, starts nicely in abelievable wartime London (though the sequence where Vera entertains thoseforced down the Tube by the Blitz is impossibly glossy). When Vera later meetsThomas in a pub, he is writing propaganda films. On the arrival of Caitlin,already his wife, the three become inseparable, eventually sharing a flat withKillick, who marries Vera before going off to war. …

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