Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Brief Encounter

A young woman waiting to catch a train home gets a speck of something caught in her eye and has it removed by a charming doctor who, after sharing a few words, begins an impassioned affair with, despite the fact that they have loving families to return to. Meeting weekly in the station, reality soon sets in and they realize they must put an end to their short but sweet dalliance. "Brief Encounter" is a simple and soapy drama, which may not be typical of director David Lean's later epics, but is still directed with the same bravura and also with poignant sensitivity. Based on the Noel Coward play Still Life, Lean uses crisp black and white photography and inventive direction to enhance the story. Celia Jesson and Trevor Howard are both excellent playing the somber leads and Cyril Raymond has an amusing role as Jesson's preoccupied husband. "Brief Encounter" is a bittersweet romance and an assured early entry in a remarkable directing career.