A University lecturer, Joe, and his partner Claire are enjoying a picnic in the countryside when he is suddenly involved in an air balloon accident in which a man\'s life is lost. The couple then start to receive visits from a mysterious and manipulative stranger who insists he and Joe share a bond.

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A compelling film which, had it been made in Hollywood, would have almost certainly been botched, cranked out as a stock standard genre piece.

One of the most interesting British movie releases of last year was The Mother. Scripted by ?enfant terrible? Hanif Kureishi (My Beautiful Laundrette), it was directed by Roger Michell (Notting Hill) and starred Daniel Craig (Love Is The Devil). Fittingly Craig and Michell team up again for Michell?s latest effort, Enduring Love, another interesting contemporary film set in North London.With its title you might be forgiven for thinking Enduring Love an adaptation of a Mills & Boon romance novel rather than the atmospheric stalking thriller it ultimately becomes, as adapted by playwright Joe Penhall from Ian McEwan?s bestselling novel.The opening of Enduring Love is an attention grabber to say the least, beautifully exciting and cinematic. London lecturer Joe ? played by the fabulously visceral Daniel Craig ? is on a picnic in the country with his sculptor girlfriend Claire ? the great Samantha Morton (Minority Report, Morvern Callar). Out of the blue a red hot air balloon crashes into a nearby field, shattering their country idyll. Around eight people show up just as abruptly as the balloon. They try to keep the thing grounded and get the young boy trapped in the basket out of harm?s way. The rescue attempt goes horribly pear-shaped but it creates a bond between all those who become involved. Not the least of whom affected is Jed ? Notting Hill?s Rhys Ifans ? who latches onto Joe as some kind of a saviour. That?s when the real fun starts for Joe and those around him.Enduring Love has been deemed heavy handed, highbrow, even ?misanthropic? by some but I think it?s one of the better stalking films since The Cable Guy (1996). Sure things do become a bit melodramatic but this is balanced out by an intelligent and uncompromising approach to the material. Enduring Love traverses some serious adult ideas about life and love and I enjoyed the questions it raises to the audience, while at the same time dipping well into Psycho (1960) territory. (The last shot of Ifans? grinning, Norman Bates-esque ?maniac? is a dead spit for the last shot in Psycho).For my money Michell and his crew succeed in making a compelling film which, had it been made in Hollywood, would have almost certainly been botched, cranked out as a stock standard genre piece.