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  Publicity Stills of "Breaking And Entering"
(Courtesy from BVI)

Genre: Drama
Director: Anthony Minghella
Cast: Jude Law, Juliette Binoche, Robin Wright Penn, Ray Winstone, Martin Freeman, Vera Farmiga
RunTime: 1 hr 59 mins
Released By: BVI
Rating: M18 (Sexual Scenes)

Opening Day: 22 March 2007

Synopsis :

BREAKING AND ENTERING is Academy Award-winning director Minghella's first original screenplay since his 1991 feature debut, 'Truly Madly Deeply'.

A story about theft, both criminal and emotional, BREAKING AND ENTERING follows a disparate group of long-term Londoners and new arrivals whose lives intersect in the inner-city area of King's Cross. When a landscape architect's state of the art offices in a seedy part of town are repeatedly burgled, his investigations launch him out of the safety of his familiar world.

Movie Review:

The most direct reference to a kinky sounding title like Breaking and Entering would be the act of burglary, which serves as a catalyst to the entire premise of things happening in this Anthony Minghella directed movie, which he also wrote.

Set in London's King Cross district, the movie wastes no time in establishing the leading characters, and sparking the catalyst from which all things will be set in motion. Will (Jude Law) and his partner Sandy (Martin Freeman) has just moved their landscape architectural firm in a notorious district, and soon enough become victims of burglary, who made away with many Apple products (Apple seems to be the hip quotient in the movie). Not before long does Will notice the burglar, teenager Miro (Rafi Gavron), during one of their nightly stakeouts, that he follows him home, only to smitten by Amira (Juliette Binoche), Miro's mother.

At its core, the movie puts the spotlight on human romantic relationships. It examines the issue on fidelity, between Will and his wife Liv (Robin Wright Penn), and his attraction to Amira. Jude Law seemed to have reprised a similar role from his Dan in Closer, having developed romantic feelings for more than one woman, at the same time, inevitably mirroring the title's metaphorical meaning of breaking hearts and entering and sharing the lives of others. Issues of emotional fidelity too gets examined, and this one's all the more more interesting, as it underlines the fact that it too can be unwittingly inflicted upon due to the lack of attention when it gets channelled towards a child.

Somehow the movie speaks to you, starkly, in reflecting upon the choices you make in relationships, and the outcome of decisions of the heart made on impulse, or raw attraction. The story shines in reaching out, and seducing you even, to make a stand and be judgemental in the actions of the characters, especially on Will. Fidelity, loyalty, priority all come into play, as you will unknowingly draw the line and stand on either side of it. And when Minghella starts to pull the rug slowly under you, with well paced and sometimes subtle revelations (pay attention!), you'll find yourself uncomfortable, and perhaps shifting perceptions and altering your< judgements. It reminds us that we're always quick to judge without knowing circumstances, and as we learn more, we start to rethink and at times feel guilty that we've misjudged a person, if for the worse.

True intentions are often never explicitly expressed, and the cast's performance all round in this aspect made their characters quite believable. Having not seen Robin Wright Penn on the big screen for some time, it's not surprising that she has aged considerably, with many visible wrikles lining the beautiful face. Actually, even Jude Law and Juliette Binoche somehow lacked that glamour factor in the make up of their roles, which helped add certain gravitas and credibility pass their picture perfect looks.

The finale though seemed a little contrived and too fluffy in its closure of some of the key issues laid out, hinging on the broad "forgiveness" theme. It had an excellent premise, wonderful setup, but let down by a lacklustre, lightweighted finale.

Movie Rating:

(Excellent performances all round in a story that strikes that uncomfortable chord within you)

Review by Stefan Shih

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