ENG 1101 Fall 2021 0277

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  • Reaction to Atonement movie
  • #75014

    Prof. Masiello

    I think since you invested 2 hours into this film, it is worth discussing.

    First, most students say Lola was raped. Actually, it was consensual sex with the man, but due to her age and the morals in British society back in the late 1930s, she was embarrassed and used Briony’s incorrect “details” as an out to preserve her reputation, Sadly, Robbie was then victimized, wrongly accused, and due to his lower economic status, as a servant’s son, he was easily thought to be guilty.

    Q: What did you think about this film? (It most likely was one you had never seen before.)

    Q: Did you understand what was going on? The POV of young Briony was shown a few times in contrast with the actual events. In other words, the camera shows what she thinks happened, and the camera also shows what really happened.

    Q: Do you think she deliberately lied or that she really misunderstood? Don’t forget: she is young and naive.

    Q: There is no way, unless you had read the source novel, that you could have guessed the ending. Did it surprise you?

    Please answer and I hope you enjoyed this quality movie.


    Jaheim Wilson

    1) This movie was absolutely incredible. It’s so tragic and heartbreaking to see how the story unfolds. This movie has really shaken me.

    2) I think I understood what was happening. The different scenes illustrate the varying perspectives of the main character V.S’s reality. For example at the beginning when Briony saw her sister at the fountain, she thought she was undressing in front of Robbie. But in reality, she was undressing to get the piece of broken vase that fell into the fountain. She just didn’t want her clothes to get wet.

    3) I believe that everything was just a big misunderstanding. She is just a child who thought she helping her sister from a potential predator. But she was doing more harm than good as a result of her innocent childlike view of the world.

    4) Yes the ending absolutely surprised me. I never thought that all along that ending was nothing more than a fabrication. I can feel Briony regret and pain through the end of the movie.


    Prof. Masiello

    I had a professor long ago though who explained that “tragedy” in literature is reserved for big events that affect many at once, like 9/11, the assassination of a President, the sinking of the Titanic, and that sadness over an individual’s death does not qualify. However, he then said there is such a thing as a “domestic tragedy.”

    Yes, Jaheim, Atonement is quite beautifully made and tragic.


    !. I enjoyed the film and it was very sad.

    2. I think that I understood what was going on but I am not fully confident that I haven’t misunderstood anything.

    3. I think that she was misunderstood but also lied. I don’t think she was confident that she saw exactly who it was, but rather that she decided to say it was Robbie because of her assumptions of him and her anger. She didn’t really know if it was Robbie or not but she decided to ruin his life anyways.

    4. I was surprised by the ending but it wasn’t the biggest surprise because I didn’t think that the story was going to have a happy ending. I was surprised by the fact that Briony wrote a story that gave them a happy ending but I wasn’t surprised that the real romance didn’t end well.


    Daniela S

    1. This film was a lot for me (nothing personal), just very emotional.
    2. I believe i understood it for the most part, I’m not really a film/movie person, but I have watched 2 movies that are slightly similar to this film.
    3. I believe she did both just because she let her feelings and thoughts get to her head. She wasn’t even completely sure, yet she still let her thoughts get the best of her and blamed Robbie.
    4. I wasn’t surprised with the ending, in fact I was hoping for that because it started off so sad I was either expecting a happy ending or a happy, but emotional ending and that’s exactly how it was.



    1. The movie was an inspiration and quite emotional though some parts I had chills just watching it.
    2. I understood most part of what was going. It was based on a character who is facing the reality of tragedy and stress I suppose.
    3. I think it was a misunderstanding because what she saw wasn’t the correct image of what exactly happened. Though she is young so she could just easily blame anyone that she had a suspicion of but she couldn’t just blame Robbie when he hasn’t done anything wrong to her sister.
    4. I was surprised by the ending because where Briony speaks for herself about the story she had written and the truth about the romance life. But it was both a happy and sad ending in my opinion.


    Prof. Masiello


    It seems you enjoyed the movie. Maybe you can spread the word so others you know can see it too.

    The novel is impressive too, but the church wedding scene is done much better in the movie.

    Prof. M.


    Prof. Masiello


    The film is clever insofar as on repeated viewings, Briony’s words are often non-sequiturs. She doesn’t answer the investigator directly, and when she first finds Lola, Briony talks so much that she gives Lola an “out,” an alibi, without her cousin having to offer much in the way of details.

    The sad ending (and let’s face it most love stories have unhappy endings–I am NOT talking about Hallmark movies and Rom-Coms, romantic comedies) was a surprise because we really had no idea the scene with grown-up Briony, Cecilia, and Robbie was all made up, part of old Briony’s novel.

    When Robbie, mid-film, examines a wound in his chest, that very injury may be responsible for his later death by septicemia.

    There are clues in the film, but maybe only Sherlock Holmes could figure them out in one viewing.


    Prof. Masiello


    You hinted at two similar movies. What are their titles?



    Q:I found it very interesting especially how the story goes back and forth in time explaining what happens

    Q: yes I was able to understand what was going on because it showed the same scene but in different point of views

    Q:I think she lied because when she was at the wedding of Lola it showed a flash back when she saw Lola having sex and her clearly seeing the face of Paul. I think she lied because she was jealous

    Q: yes it shocked me that Robbie and Cecilia never got to spend time together and they died very soon in real life


    Prof. Masiello


    Your interpretation of the wedding scene is good.

    I do not remember how it was handled in the novel other than–far less visually than the film–when Briony hears of the wedding over the radio and doesn’t attend it.

    Another interpretation of her sudden insight into seeing Paul Marshall’s face when the sexual encounter happened is that all the information came together, like when a psychologist, through delving into with many questions, can have a patient realize some truth that was suppressed as a coping mechanism, like when an adult, through therapy, realizes he or she had been abused as a child, a terrible situation that the mind and body use to “forget” something too difficult to face when it happened.


    Obrien Eastman

    1. I enjoyed the film it was kinda emotional and touching for to me.

    2. I understood what was going on the film made it easy to understand by showing the different point of views.

    3. I think that the situation was a misunderstanding, I believe that she was unsure of who exactly saw but she still said that it was Robbie because of her anger and confusion she decided to say it was robbie and ruin his life.

    4. I was surprised by the story that Briony wrote a story that gave them a happy ending.


    Prof. Masiello

    Thanks, Obrien,

    Children often do not think of the consequences of their words and actions. Maybe she did not realize what could have happened to Robbie once he was accused.


    Osman Hassan

    1) I really enjoyed the film, at no point did I get bored/uninterested. I also found myself emotionally attached to the characters, especially at the end.
    2) I understood what was going on, I was just a little confused when the fountain scene played out twice but then I realized that they were showing both points of view.
    3) I believe it was a little bit of both. She was already horrified that Robbie presumably assaulted Cecilia, and whether she knew it or not, she was trying to find anything to get him in trouble. For this reason, when she saw someone, also presumably, assaulting Lola her brain went straight to Robbie. That being said, it can’t be ignored that she was able to recall the face of the assailant meaning she had known all along.
    4) The ending was definitely surprising and tragic. I had thought that Briony would confess and get Marshall convicted, therefore she would atone for what she did by revealing the truth. In the end, however, it seems her atonement is the pain she feels knowing that she ruined both Robbie’s and Cecilia’s lives.



    1. It was an enjoyable film but as I kept watching it it made me angry.

    2. I think I do understand. Briony thought she knew what was going on and did what she thought was right but didn’t know the whole situation.

    3. I would say both. She saw many things but didn’t know what really happened but also had a crush on Robbie and he didn’t feel the same. That could make her have some resentment towards him which could be the reason she said it was him.

    4. The ending did surprise me and it hurts to know that Robbie and Cecilia never got the ending they deserved but there’s some comfort to know that Briony told the truth even if it was too late.

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