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Review: The Last Letter From Your Lover

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ABOUT

Directed by: Augustine Frizzell

Casts: Felicity Jones (Ellie Haworth), Nabhaan Rizwan (Rory McCallan), Callum Turner (Anthony O’Hare), Joe Alwyn (Laurence Stirling), Shailene Woodley (Jennifer Stirling), Ben Cross (older Anthony O’Hare), Diana Kent (older Jennifer Stirling)

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Streaming on: Netflix

The Last Letter From Your Lover.
Based on the novel with the same name by Jojo Moyes. (Image Source: IMDb)

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A woman elopes from her home sweet home to join her illicit lover but meets a car accident. She loses her memory and fails to recognize anyone and everyone, not even her lover. That’s Jennifer from “The Last Letter From Your Lover”.

PLOT SUMMARY

The story opens with Mrs Jennifer Stirling in 1965-London, the spouse of an industrialist entering her house after a prolonged illness following a car crash. Her husband, Mr Laurence Stirling is trying his level best to serve solace to her recovering wife. Jennifer is seen having flashbacks from the memory robbed by the car crash throughout the film.

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The Last Letter From Your Lover
Mrs Jennifer Stirling in a still from The Last Letter From Your Lover. (Image Source: insider)

An interwoven story is thrown at the screen with Ellie Haworth, an ambitious journalist working at The London Chronicle. She has to write a feature about the recently-deceased paper editor Mary Ellen. Her scrounging amidst Mary Ellen’s works brings her on the threshold of an archivist named Rory. While romance not being Ellie’s cup of tea speaks volumes, she turns over a new leaf the moment she finds a love letter, to someone identified as “J,” from “Boot” amongst stuff belonging to Mary Ellen. Moved by the passionate feelings between the clandestine couple, Ellie becomes determined to learn their identities. In the company of the very formal Rory, she looks for a trove of secret love letters from 1965 exchanged between the two mysterious lovers.

The Last Letter From Your Lover
Ellie Haworth (L) and Rory (R) in a still from The Last Letter From Your Lover. (Image Source: Radio Times)

In the mid-1960s, Jennifer Stirling and her husband Laurence travels to the French Riviera for a summer vacation. A financial journalist Anthony O’Hare arrives to interview Laurence. After a dinner party with some wealthy socialites, Jennifer overhears Anthony reviling the Stirlings for their spoiled lifestyle. Anthony invites the Stirlings out to dine, which Laurence left unceremoniously because of a sudden business trip.

This leaves Jennifer and Anthony to spend the summer together until his return. Jennifer draws a similarity between Anthony and “William Boot” from the book Scoop by Evelyn Waugh. And so, they begin writing letters to each other, under the pennames “J” and “Boot” (or “B”). Neither act on their growing electricity, until Jennifer impulsively tries to kiss O’Hare. When he pulls away, she flees. Some days later, a letter penned by Anthony reaches her, proposing to meet at Postman’s Park in London where they steal a passionate kiss.

The Last Letter From Your Lover
Mrs Jennifer Stirling (L) and Anthony O’Hare (R) in a still from The Last Letter From Your Lover. (Image Source: Refinery 29)

They start a whirlwind affair. Finally, he proposes she run off with him to New York. Jennifer fears being labelled as an adulteress by her family and friends. However, after Anthony sends her a letter that he will be waiting for her at the train station on the night of his departure, Jennifer rushes off to meet him. Unfortunately, she gets into a car accident causing partial amnesia. Anthony leaves for New York, believing that Jennifer’s fear has taken the best of her.

The Last Letter From Your Lover.
Mrs Jennifer Stirling in a still from The Last Letter From Your Lover. (Image Source: Netflix)

Six months after the car accident, Jennifer feels lost as she struggles to recover her memories. She begins finding several of the love letters from “Boot” hidden in her house. Jennifer confronts Laurence, who claims Anthony had died in the crash. While things get rosy for Laurence with their two-year-old daughter Esme, Jennifer bumps into Anthony four years later, restoring her memories of their time together. Anthony once again pleads for her to run away with him, but she refuses out of consideration for her daughter.

Enraged at Laurence for his lies, Jennifer asserts that she will stay with him because of their daughter, but vows to leave if he mistreats her. In turn, Laurence threatens to ruin Jennifer’s reputation and gain sole custody of their daughter. This prompts Jennifer to escape with their daughter to go with Anthony but gets to know that Anthony has resigned from his job and has left. Forced to return to circle the drain with Laurence, Jennifer gives the bundle of love letters to the editor to be sent to Anthony if they hear back from him.

The Last Letter From Your Lover
Rory McCallan (L) and Ellie Haworth (R) in a still from The Last Letter From Your Lover. (Image Source: IMDb)

Ellie and Rory go closer in the present day as they uncover a trove of these very love letters. After spending the night with Rory, Ellie distances herself from him and learns that Jennifer and Anthony are both alive. After getting on speaking terms with both of them, speaking and hearing their painstaking attempts over reviving their lost romance, Ellie decides to enter into a relationship with Rory, not wanting to live a remorseful life. Ellie returns to Anthony and encourages him to write one last letter to Jennifer to meet him at Postman’s Park. Ellie and Rory watch from a distance as the two senile lovers reunite.

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