I saw the press screening of My Cousin Rachel last night and I can’t quit thinking about this movie. Based on the novel of the same name by Daphne du Maurier, the movie starts out telling us the story of a young Phillip Ashley, played by Sam Calflin. He was raised by his cousin after his parents’ death. As an adult Philip returned to his home after attending school. His cousin because ill and moved to the “sunshine” country to get away from the harsh winters of England. In Italy, he met Rachel. Rachel is beautiful, smart and not necessarily the person you think she is.
Phillips’ cousin passes away and at first Phillip hates Rachel. After all, in his mind, Rachel is the reason for his death. This is prompted by a letter received by his cousin before his death. Immediately, Phillip is enamored by Rachel. They form a bond that was very unconventional for the time. Quickly you begin to see how Phillip is falling under her spell, or is it just his naive behavior with women that is fueling his emotions for Rachel? As the movie progresses the twists and turns leave you hating Rachel for manipulating the naive Phillip. That is till the end when you question everything before you and you want to watch the entire movie again!
There is no gore or horror or anything disgusting, but this movie leaves you on the edge of your seat with its twists and turns as the sense of security in a relationship of two grieving people is tested. The character depth of Phillip is demonstrated throughout the film with his whiplash emotions. And Rachel, with her polite, but almost cold, smile that gives you chills.
I never read the novel, but I can imagine in 1951, when it published, it was quite the scandal. Love, sex, and mind manipulation. What more could you ask for?
Run on out and see this movie. It is only in theaters for a limited time.