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Published November 26th 2014
A period drama about love, power & revenge of a woman
Review: When George Pemberton (Cooper) sets his eyes on the quiet but determined young Serena (Lawrence) at a horse race little does he know that his life was going to change forever. This film is based on a book by the same name written by Ron Rash and portrays the different phases of the relationship shared between George and Serena, which ends tragically.
Unlike the other wives who love to spend their time at tea parties, Serena loves spending time with her new husband George and understanding his timber empire based in North Carolina. This of course doesn't go down too well with Buchanan (Dencik), who until now was like an un-appointed acting ruler of George's business. He suddenly starts losing his control over various matters related to the business including his ability to influence George's decisions, thanks to Serena's fierce attitude and good grasp on the business. Amidst all this Serena comes face-to-face with a pregnant Rachel (Ularu), a worker at her husband's timber business, and immediately senses that Rachel was her husband's past love affair.
Serena Poster (Source: Wikipedia, Author: 2929 Entertainment, Chockstone Pictures and Nick Welchser Productions)
What unfolds later in the movie is the saga of love, power and revenge which destroys everyone's life. When a pregnant Serena loses her baby due to miscarriage the bond between her and her husband begins to wither away. While George finds himself secretly drawn towards Rachel and her child, Serena burns from within when she senses that her once loyal and loving husband is slowly getting away from her.
The story evolves at a slow pace although it does not give viewers a clear understanding of why George suddenly drifts away from his wife immediately after her miscarriage. Serena's character too jumps very quickly from being loving to becoming evil and murderous. The few intimate scenes between George and Serena display their growing chemistry but soon fade away with the tragedy of miscarriage.
In one frame Serena is a sharp business women, who not only has a knack for timber business, but who also knows how to exert her authority over workers. In another frame she is a loving and caring wife who does not hesitate in instigating her husband to commit wrong even if it meant taking away someone's life.
At the other end of the spectrum is George who struggles to keep his empire intact, desires to hunt a panther in the forest some day and become a father too.
Rachel is shown jealous and sometimes angry at Serena, but that's all she contributes to the story. The background score is good however special mention goes to the cinematography which captures the beauty of smoky mountains and the forests with equal charm.
Overall Verdict: If you are an action junkie then this movie is definitely not for you. Both Bradly and Jennifer are great in their roles, although lacking a little depth in their characters. It may not be one of the best movies to watch this season but it is definitely a good watch for those who love the saga of emotions and inexplicable and intricate human relationships.