I'm beginning to take a very anti-trailer stance. Sometimes trailers over-hype me on a film, and sometimes they reveal too much about the plot of the film. I think that the marketing of "My Cousin Rachel" suffered from both.
From the trailers, I expected this film to be more of a psychological thriller, but it wasn't. There are a few suspenseful sequences spread throughout, but most of the film is a romantic drama. That was one level of disappointment. My other major issue with the film was that it just wasn't particularly involving. It wasn't boring, but it wasn't as thought-provoking as one would expect. The film basically wants you to accept what is happening without thinking about it. It's framed almost as if you are reading a person's diary, trapped in one perspective, unable to see what else is going on. That perspective isn't particularly interesting, either, because the character development was surprisingly weak. As a whole, the writing of the film is rather forgettable and far too easy to follow. I found myself distracted for a few minutes, and I easily picked right back up into the film, which isn't necessarily a good thing. Despite my harsh criticism, I didn't totally dislike the writing. There are some redeeming elements in its natural dialogue and darkly sarcastic dialogue, but I found it to be rather middle-of-the-line in most aspects.
The filmmaking of the film is undeniably impressive, though. The cinematography is beautiful and really captures the beautiful environments in which the film is set. The lighting is excellent, with the frequent clash between light and dark being a major motif in the film. The acting is great. Rachel Weisz delivers a particularly compelling performance, encapsulating the mysterious nature of the character.
Ultimately, I found "My Cousin Rachel" to be a film that is excellent in its technique, but average in its writing. It is by no means a bad film, but it is nowhere near as good as it could have been.
My Cousin Rachel
Big Tuna's Rating: C+
How Did I Watch It?: In theaters.
Had I Seen It Before?: No.
Would I Watch It Again?: I am unsure.
I am a huge movie fan that wants to tell people about my very varying taste and opinion of film.