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The Edge of Love - Preview

The Edge of Love

Preview by Jack Foley

JOHN Maybury’s The Edge of Love offers a strong start to this year’s Edinburgh Film Festival on June 18 – two days before its nationwide release on June 20.

And British film fans have every reason to keenly anticpate the film, given the stylish nature of the direction and the outstanding central performances of its leading stars: Keira Knightley, Sienna Miller, Cillian Murphy and Matthew Rhys.

The film examines the tug of love that occurred between the poet Thomas (Rhys) and the two women in his life: childhood sweetheart Vera Phillips (Knightley) and his adventuruous wife Caitlin (Sienna Miller).

Caught in between, meanwhile, is Vera’s own devoted admirer, Captain William Killick (Cillian Murphy), whose subsequent experiences on the front line during World War Two yield serious consequences for all concerned.

The brainchild behind the story was producer Rebekah Gilbertson, who wanted to explore her grandparents’ relationship with the famous Welsh poet.

“Since I was a little girl, I’d always known that my grandmother had had a relationship with Dylan Thomas,” she explained. “They’d grown up together in Swansea and they’d been neighbours, they went to school together and they spent summer holidays together.

“In 2001, I came across a book that some of my aunts had been involved with called Dylan Thomas: A Farm, Two Mansions And A Bungalow, by David Thomas, which focused a lot on my grandparents’ relationship with Thomas.

“There was always a mystery about the story, and there was something that wasn’t really spoken of at some, so in this book I could actually read about their connection.”

As a result of her subsequent research, Gilbertson found “a human and dramatic story to tell – the story of four young people during a time of war.”

She continued: “I’m always drawn to stories that reflect or comment on the human condition. This looks at all the experiences of love and often the loyalty or lack of it between human beings. So, at its heart it’s about friendship and about how some friendships can’t last. It’s about first love and last love and a study of the different experiences of love.”

Writer Sharman Macdonald – aka Keira Knightley’s mum – was then charged with adapting the story for the big screen and immediately found the themes resonated with her.

She commented: “I viewed it as a story about the rivalry between two women over one man disturbed by a loving friendship that develops between them. I was interested in the beginning, middle and the end of that friendship, and about how that friendship can end.

“We all have friendships that are incredibly precious to us and then suddenly they’re gone. I was interested to examine that phenomenon as it’s universal. The fact that it involved Dylan and Caitlin Thomas was a gift, but it was incidental.”

The Edge of Love opens in UK cinemas on June 20. Watch the trailer