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The End of the Affair (1955), Deborah Kerr

This is a movie about a woman who has to choose between her husband and her lover, and ends up choosing the love of God. It is also a story about faith and devotion, suspicion and adultery, a true story placed in the background of the terrible years of WWII. This screen version of the homonym novel by Graham Greene stars Deborah Kerr and Van Johnson. Both actors are very good and convincing in their roles of the tortured souls in search for passion and love, but Deborah excelled in most of the scenes. “The End of the Affair” conveys a powerful and significant message: that if you pray with all your heart and soul to God, He will listen to you and will make your wish come true, even if one has to sacrifice something or someone very dear to her or him. Sarah chooses to sacrifice her romance with Maurice, after a bomb attack when she thought him dead. She promises God that if Maurice is alive, she will part from him for ever. The miracle happened and she kept her promise. Meanwhile, Maurice believes that Sarah abandoned him for another man, as from the very beginning of the film her character seems frivolous. Her husband is older than her and very much dedicated to his career, while she is in a continuous pursuit of human emotions. We later find out that this need of hers for love has grown deeper and deeper after the death of her beloved father. I wouldn’t like to spoil the ending of this movie by revealing it, but I can only say that father and daughter are reunited in a very peculiar and all too sudden way, with such phenomena above the human nature. The film also determines us to reflect more on the tragedy of war and on the faith of God. None of the characters in this story, except for a priest, is faithful to God. But each of them learns that God exists and that one cannot be selfish when it comes to love Him. The sacrifice of Sarah, who develops from an ordinary woman, with ordinary feelings, into a complex, sophisticated human being, devoted to God, is only in the end revealed to Maurice, who, reading her farewell letter, regrets having misunderstood his former mistress and admits that he needs time to forgive and forget. Because time heals all wounds – even the loss of the dearest ones…

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