Written by Jason Flick
August, 26 2008
Affinity by definition is the attraction to someone or something. Now if that definition holds true, then it’s no surprise to me that I liked the film by the same name. Affinity, a film based on the mystery romance novel Sarah Waters is a tale of power and possession in the late 19th century.
If you have read any of my previous reviews you will undoubtedly see that I have a thing for the macabre and supernatural. As so many others in this world, some crowds more than others, have an insatiable curiosity for that which we do not understand.
Affinity starts off with the viewer seeing a younger lady running up stairs and into a room where she find an ailing woman, probably the owner of the house from what I could tell, sprawled out upon a sitting chair. Upon the younger lady rushing to her side the old lady screams and the younger is pulled away. The next thing that I saw was a body falling through water as the movie’s title appeared upon the screen. At this point I knew something really bad had occurred or perhaps something yet to come.
After this rather cryptic beginning, we are introduced to Margaret Prior (Anna Madeley), a socialite who recently lost her father. To occupy her now free time, she becomes a “Lady Visitor” at Millbank Prison. Here she finds escape from her own problems and gains purpose as she brings hope and comfort to the female inmates at the prison. It is here where Margaret meets Selina Dawes (Zoe Tapper), a medium that is imprisoned after one of her séances goes horribly wrong. Margaret quickly becomes interested with Selina and over time learns of the reason of her incarceration.
There are other problems however in Selina’s life you see. Theophilus, the man that desperately seeks her heart, continues to press her on the matters of marriage. But her heart had belonged to another before that love was snatched away by her brother. After a while Margaret becomes infatuated with Selina and a new love begins to blossom, with a little help from Selina that is.
Affinity is a film that brings so many ideas and genres into one place. There is romance touched with mystery, suspense and a bit of the supernatural unknown as well. For me as a writer, this is a film that not much more can be said as it would reveal any major plot twist that the film may contain. What I will say is that this film is wonderfully crafted and has a very compelling story with memorable characters.
I actually learned various cool facts about the film; like that it was shot in 27 days in 2 countries. I also got to learn a bit more about Affinity. The film is set in the 1870s but still is more of a contemporary piece than a historical time piece.
Affinity retails for around $30 dollars, which might be a bit steep for a single DVD. The added interviews and “Making of” segments are cool but not really enough to warrant $30 dollars for. But if you’re looking for something different and you’re willing to pay 30 bones for it, then I definitely recommend picking up this film.