Are you a fan of the Regency period? Do you believe somebody is out to kill you and take all of your money?
If you answered yes, My Cousin Rachel is the film for you.
The film is set in the 1800’s, on the cusp of women’s rising independence. The story begins when Phillip Ashley (Sam Claflin) receives word that his cousin Ambrose has died of a ‘brain tumour’ and that his wife Rachel (Rachel Weisz) is coming to town. Phillip suspects that Rachel has played a role in Ambrose’s death and decides to find out the truth.
The cinematography of the film is beautiful and Weisz’s performance is alluring. Her portrayal of the character brings an air of mystery to the film, in spite of the simplistic plot.
Before watching, the trailer, the title and the presence of Iain Glen in the movie had me worried. The title gave me the impression that Rachel and Phillip’s relationship was going to be incestuous. However fear not, this isn’t Game of Thrones. Although Phillip refers to Rachel as his cousin, Rachel is actually the widow of Phillip’s cousin and not a blood relative.
Phillip’s level of saltiness when he meets Rachel is hilarious. However, the romance that transpires between them is a little odd. It progresses very fast considering that Phillip suspects Rachel of having killed his cousin. His naivety and ability to fall for Rachel so quickly will leave you shaking your head at the screen.
The pace of the film feels a little slow at times. The formal exchanges, the imposed norms of social conduct and subjugation of women in a patriarchal society reminded me of Pride and Prejudice. It was interesting to see how women were seeking emancipation in that era. However, it created an imbalance with the mystery at hand which made the film seem longer than it actually was.
Overall, the plot seemed rushed and the pace could have been faster, but the cinematography and intriguing acting provided good distractions.
If you are interested in checking out My Cousin Rachel, it is still in cinemas so you better hurry up.