Betrayal

The film opens in the present then continues going backwards, told completely in reverse. Harold Pinter wrote a brilliant play which has been adapted into this perfect & significant film adaptation. The story begins with people existing a party scene. And almost immediately from this place to the beginning of the end scene in a restaurant, when the relationship betrayal is in a state of  almost pure unfamiliarity. The passion has dissolved. It is the tale of the gradual glimpse into the collapse or downfall of an affair.

Though passionate when the affair began, if you saw where it ended up first, as you do in “Betrayal.” would you want to go into the affair knowing what it was going to be at the end & were able to know the lose of feelings & passion at the end? Affairs basically suck & the hurt all involved explodes in all directions. And frankly, they aren’t very much worth the pain & destruction in their wake. As this film shows you so, in the most unique way possible, that it makes it almost joyful to watch. It’s like almost getting a second chance on life, you go back to the youth & joy from the aged & lost.

betrayal  b&w jeremy & patricia photo use for talk thursdayJeremy Irons & Patricia Hodge

A great line toward the end which is actually at the beginning of the film: “Do you think of me sometimes?” It sounds like a pathetic question but it is meaningful, in that, did we ever really mean anything enough to carry away a memory or feeling of still wanting the individual. After all, we did screw up our promised & binding relationship’s fidelity and pretty much ruined the trust & security we had established over the long years we had lovingly spent together. We still love our spouse, yet we are seduced by an afternoon delight over a length of time that holds what exactly? A moments pleasure & then sacrificing everything we hold dear to our hearts. Is that really worth the instant pleasure that wears off really quickly? It becomes garbage after the sustenance is sucked out of it.

She tells her lover that she told her husband about the affair and they talked all night about it. When her lover finds this out he freaks. He is devastated. Why would she do such a thing? He didn’t want his friend to know he was screwing his friend’s wife, afterall. How could he face him after this breach of secrecy. Well, he has to confront his friend & when he does, he finds out she had told her husband four years prior to that evening. Amazement glazes over his face with astonishment. Asking his friend, “Why didn’t you tell me you knew.”

Does his friend, whose wife he is screwing have that sort of obligation? He told him, “I thought you knew.” Frankly, I think to myself, personally, “Why the bloody hell should he inform his friend what he knows or doesn’t know. His friend & his wife both had their secrets.” Ben Kingsley’s character is quite the cool husband who seems as if he is being very understanding as he explains to his friend, the affair did not end their friendship, but as for his marriage, it is another whole conversation. Naturally, friendship & mates have different consequences. See the film to discover how it all unfolds. Remember to enjoy the Pinter Pauses.

MSDBETR EC003Patricia Hodge & Jeremy Irons on the bed in their apartment in which they carry on their affair.

It’s a curious story. We love all the characters. They are all likeable. And there is something inner most deep in us, wanting to see a satisfying conclusion. But all ending happily, is never really possible. We may work it out. All involved are married. It is tempting to act on our feelings of attraction. It doesn’t mean we have stopped loving the person we are married to. It is mutual between the lovers outside of their marriages. But does it work? How satisfying can it be if we are not allowed to be free & real with the world about what we are involved in doing. We are betraying someone who trusts us. How can we do it? If we have ever had an affair, can we honesty say, after it is over, that it was worth all the damage it causes & the pain it inflicted. I am not answering this question but I am asking everyone to look inside & answer privately for themselves.

MSDBETR FE001Patricia Hodge, Jeremy Irons & Ben Kingsley relaxing over drinks together. How new is the affair?

Have we ever been the one who has been betrayed? Think about this silently & if the answer is yes? How did it make us feel? I would estimate, we felt tortured by the thought of it. How do we ask our spouse or partner if they are betraying us? Nightmares ensue if we think it is happening but we couldn’t possibly ask. Why? If we find out it is true, we are totally devastated. If it isn’t true then we have to wonder why we felt an affair was going on to begin with. Did someone make it up & told us our mate was betraying us? This is not as far-fetched a question as it seems.

MSDBETR EC002Jeremy Irons, Patricia Hodge & Ben Kingsley, so very young & brilliant when they made “Betrayal

Why are such innocent appearing people, as those in this film, so prone to betray the person they stood up for at their wedding? We have to ask ourselves, what drives the lust that it has to be acted upon? Are we so unable to control our urges or unable to reach out to our mates to find out about finding a new surge of libido freeing energy to bring what would have fueled the affair, back into our own til death do we part relationships?

Betrayals happen, but we don’t just suddenly fall into bed with another person, unless we are too stoned or drunk to see our way to behaving in an honorable fashion. I don’t understand it in others & I don’t understand those raging feelings in myself. What if something in our own relationship is too difficult to talk about & it is easier to turn to someone without the complications? Everyone needs to be held close to someone else. Is that what drives a betrayal? Is there no way sometimes to find or ask for the closeness in our primary relationship? Yes, would or could be the answer. What are the obligations then? Do we get in bed with someone we know or don’t know & what are we really seeking?


Betrayal — Scene with Jeremy Irons & Patricia Hodge

Patricia Hodge is perfect as the wife who has the affair. We would follow her anywhere, if we had the chance. Jeremy Irons, I am not into men, but he is young & intelligent, He’s not afraid to express his feelings. But he betrays his best friend for sex & an attraction. What are the rules? They remain friends, the two husbands, depending where we are in the past traveling backwards in the film’s story. Seeing how it ends first, then waiting til the end of the film to see how it begins is quite a unique perspective. I really do wonder if we knew what an affair would do or feel like for all concerned when it finally ends, at least in this case it does at the beginning. We see how the two betrayers are with the other. It is as if they are strangers. Polite, non-committal conversation, as though nothing intimate had ever transpired between the two.

MBDBETR FE002Jeremy Irons so new to us in “Betrayal”

Where does the intimacy go, if it does disappear? Why does it go away? It doesn’t have to go away. It can just change & become something else. But most people separate when it becomes something else. The difference in the relationship from the start doesn’t have to dissolve because we have been together past the various marking off points in any two people joining together in a commitment. There are so many ways to change up a relationship. And there is something unique & special when we are living with someone we have known for the majority of our life. Communication it essential. We need to talk. Truth & honesty is important but don’t try to assuage guilt by telling our mate something that is only good for us to feel less guilt, it doesn’t help our mate to know some things.

Probably the best thing is not to have affairs in the first place. If we love the person we are with, why would we want to hurt them so much by having sex with someone else that we never had any intention of making it more than some sex, and then when it gets boring, it’s over. It isn’t the only thing that is over & dead. We have crushed the real person we love & for what. Is sex that important that we can’t find other ways of satisfying that need? And if it’s for intimacy, then figure out what we need to do to make our mate and us come closer & reclaim our intimacy with them.

MBDBETR FE004Patricia Hodge, the landlady & Jeremy Irons when they were securing the clandestine apartment

This film is the best film to watch to learn, it isn’t worth the loss we will really suffer. We may run out of energy for our affair but what we left out thinking about is, what did we do to our mate by going through the exhaustion of satisfying some momentary lapse of judgement. I am speaking for all of us who think it isn’t any big deal to betray our mate, especially if it is only temporary. When in actuality, it may destroy the rest of our lives or we may lose the one that we really want to be together with the rest of your life. That is really possible. We need to know this & think seriously about it. The first 3 months go by fast & not any relationship can fly as high as that intensity over any length of time beyond the falling in love phase of a sexual relationship. When I fall in love, it actually is forever. But everyone makes mistakes, sometimes because we were badly screwed up & didn’t know any better. It is not an excuse but it is a reason. The only thing is, it doesn’t stop from causing pain if we do betray the one we really love.

jeremy irons Betrayal patricia in embraceJeremy Irons & Patricia Hodge, loves springs eternal

Betrayal is #8 of my Best Ever films because it has the best script adapted from a Harold Pinter play, who is one of the best playwrights of all time. It has the best told story in a most unique fashion, which gives the film goer an intriguing look into what not to do, because this is an ending one does not want in their lives. And the best cast is brought together to portray the characters so convincingly. You are mesmerized by the young Ben Kingsley, Jeremy Irons & Patricia Hodge, of BBC & PBS fame Rumpole at the Bailey, who are all truly marvelous in their roles as the wife [Patricia], her husband [Ben] & her lover [Jeremy].

jeremy on knees in front of patricia in apt in betrayalPatricia Hodge watching on as Jeremy Irons professes his love for her

Following this review, just below, is a video of “Betrayal” as shown on the BBC. It is an extremely difficult film to find otherwise. Shawn & I were fortunate after many years of trying to locate a DVD of this film. It has always been one of my top favorites from the first time I saw it. Relationship films I find, if they are incredibly great, as Betrayal is, they can be some of the most inspiring films to watch & enjoy. It helps to understand the nature of the human species & why we intentionally screw up our lives on a regular basis.    Written by Jennifer Kiley


Betrayal – Section of film Jeremy Irons, Patricia Hodge, Ben Kingsley

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Words. Ideas. Visions. Sounds. Abstractions. Attract the Writer. Poet. Artist Inside of Me. Seeking Out the Unknown & Infinite Possibilities & Impossibilities. Living My Life Filled with Imagination & Creativity. Zen – j.kiley
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