In this somewhat sleeper drama of 2008 starring Keira Knightley, Matthew Rhys, and Sienna Miller, The Edge of Love depicts the friendship of legendary poet Dylan Thomas between his teenage sweetheart and lounge singer Vera Phillips (Knightley) and wife Caitlin MacNamara (Miller). The film takes place in England and off the coast of Wales during World War II and shows the damaging effects of war on the fragile and sensitive, especially for those within the frontlines, Vera’s husband William Killick (Cillian Murphy) and those waiting in the wings at home.
The movie centers on several themes, war, love, romance, and friendship that weaves elements of Thomas’s life into a ball of fiction and nonfiction that is based on the book by David N. Thomas Dylan Thomas: A Farm, Two Mansions and a Bungalow that shows how the presumed long passed emotions between Vera and Dylan never quite went away and would eventually affect Dylan’s marriage to Caitlin. Director John Maybury does an extremely exceptional job when presenting this aspect of Thomas’s life and the vicious love triangle and the downward spiral that arises between the characters. Indeed, those scenes as well as one of the interesting parts of the film between Vera and Caitlin that show an inkling of a friendship that almost blooms but leads to misunderstandings, betrayal, and the eventual truth behind Thomas’s carousing, emphasize the complexities of the life he lived.
The Edge of Love may appeal to Knightley fans and viewers who enjoy a period piece. Although the film starts slow in the beginning, it gradually builds by the conclusion with its subtle ironic ending.