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|Originaltitel:||My Cousin Rachel|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 106 Min|
|FSK:||From 6 years|
Philip (Sam Clafin) is desperate: His guardian, who was like a real father to him, died. Based on the letters that Ambrose sent him before his death, Philip is sure that he did not die a natural death, but that his widow Rachel (Rachel Weisz) helped him. When she arrives at his estate, Philip decides to confront her and make her feel that he knows what she has done. But the woman standing in front of him does not correspond at all to the picture Ambrose has drawn in his confused letters. On the contrary: Philip is so taken with the older woman that he quickly shoots his suspicions to the wind. More and more he decays Rachel and threatens to lose his mind himself…
"My cousin Rachel", based on the novel of the same name by Daphne du Maurier, was already a year after publication of the book in 1951 successfully filmed, then with Richard Burton and Olivia de Havilland in the leading roles. The popular work of the author, who had also written the literary models for the Hitchcock classics "Rebecca" and "The Birds", then served in the 1980s as a model for a mini-series with Geraldine Chaplin in the title role. Now director Roger Michell ("Notting Hill") has taken on the subject again. Even if the end of his film version is a little different from that of the novel, he doesn't really succeed in gaining new facets from the familiar story.
What doesn't mean that his adaptation would be trivial or boring. Michell manages very well to create a gripping atmosphere in which the question "does she or doesn't she have" constantly floats above the actions of the protagonists. In a web of obsession and uncertainty, he leads Philip towards certain ruin, although it is not always clear whether he is responsible for it himself or the charismatic Rachel. And because he manages that so well, the version of the finale he chose works really well - even though it's a little bit predictable in a way.
The movie is sometimes staged a little bit too slowly, but in other places it lacks the necessary depth. So it doesn't quite make sense why Philip, who was so full of rage and hate, drops all this after only a few seconds in the presence of Rachel and seems to be completely addicted to her. It just goes too fast and takes so much of the credibility out of the story. Apart from that, almost everything is right: The set is very well-done, the landscape shots are great and the actors can convince in almost every respect - first of all Rachel Weisz, who plays so wonderfully ambiguous that you never know if you should love her or be afraid of her.
Roger Michell has created a costume drama with light thriller elements that is stirring for long stretches, which isn't perfect, but which definitely manages one thing: to entertain his audience well and to captivate them to the end. And there is a deserved one for that: Worth seeing!
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