Rachel Weisz is one of my favorite actresses and I will happily watch just about anything with her in it. So you can imagine how pumped I was to hear she was starring in the remake of the 1952 film My Cousin Rachel. The plot is pretty simple a young man named Phillip (Sam Claflin) seeks out revenge for his cousin/guardian after he believes that he was murdered by his new wife. His plans are quickly foiled when he meets Rachel (Weisz) and is instantly drawn to her and her enigmatic past. Sounds pretty good right? I know! I was excited too, but hold that thought for a moment.
The story has so much potential to be awesome. Is Rachel a murder or was his cousin just suffering from a sickness that was making him grow more paranoid and mad? There are clues from both sides of the argument and we may never be sure what is true and what is our own mind just filling in the missing information with paranoia. Phillip is what really kills this movie for me. In this version, he is a total twit and a spoiled brat. He broods through much of the film and when given the littlest bit of power it immediately goes to his head. When he is almost of age and he gets wind of his cousin's ailing health through a series of cryptic notes declaring his new wife is trying to kill him, he marches out the door and is hell bent on killing this woman. When he finally meets Rachel all the anger melts away and in an instant, he is putty in her hands. A loyal lap dog at her service. He is suddenly willing to overlook all the negatives and push forward for a chance to win her hand in marriage. He proceeds through his life like a spoiled child and it is beyond annoying. It only gets worse when he comes of age at 25 and inherited everything his mother left him when she died. It is exhausting.
Overall, I was just really let down by this film. I wanted and expected more. Sadly, the acting/character of Philip really took this film down for me and just to be clear I like Sam Claflin as an actor too, but this part just did not work for him. Oh well, maybe next time Sam. We scored this film with a C-. You can check it out for yourself this weekend.
My Cousin Rachel hits theaters everywhere June 9th.
My Cousin Rachel