• Joshua Buck

The Notebook (2004) Review

A poor young man falls crazily in love with a rich young woman, giving her a sense of freedom, but they are soon separated because of their social differences.

The story is about a man reading a story to a woman who is clearly in a home. This reminded me very much of the way that The Princess Bride tells its story as a man reads a book to his grandson. However, The Notebook isn’t a story that is read it is a notebook, hence the title. This film has two stories. One story following a young couple falling in love between a poor boy named Noah (Ryan Gosling) and Allie (Rachel McAdams) a rich girl is truly interesting to watch with Allie's mother completely disapproving calling him ‘trash’. A second story is an old man reading this notebook to an old lady and that is all I am saying without giving spoilers but it makes the story very compelling. The story almost reminded me of Romeo and Juliet as the audience knows the story before the characters do in The Notebook and I think this tool for storytelling is used really well.

Acting from gosling and McAdams I have seen Ryan Gosling as a hard-enigmatic character in films such as Drive or Blade Runner 2049 but never had I seen a performance from him like this. In an emotional role delves into his character and we get to see a softer more emotional performance. At times I could really see the heartbreak his character was going through and I thought it was very interesting to see. Rachel McAdams is turning into my favourite female actress. Me watching her originally in comedies such as Game Night and Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, however, she really shines in The Notebook and it is the most emotional performance I have ever seen of hers and my heart was crying with her in the movie I was so gripped with every line of dialogue that she had to say and I think this is my favourite performance of hers that I have seen.

This movie really felt like it wasn’t made I the early 2000s. if you told me this was made in any decade between the 60s and 80s, I would’ve have believed you. This film honestly felt like it transported me back in time. The use of daylight and lack of what felt seemed like artificial lighting really helped me buy into the time of this film. Everything about this movie felt like it was filmed decades ago and that is a massive credit to the director (Nick Cassavettes) to make this aesthetic feel like the 40s as much as they could.

This film really did move me more than I expected and may I say that scene where Noah and Allie are kissing in the rain as you see on the cover and thumbnails is truly a magical moment of the movie. A great story that left me in tears, and I don’t tend to cry at movies but The Notebook, fair enough I couldn’t help but shed tears. This film won’t go down as a cinema great, but with a Shakespeare like story and great performances made it a really emotional watch. Will it be one the will forever live in my memory as I remember the eye-opening cinematography as I did with Blade Runner 2049? Short answer no.

So, for that reason, I rate this movie a 3.5/5.

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