Review: ‘The Affair’ Is A Missed Opportunity For A Great Film

Earlier this month, Vertical Entertainment released the period drama, The Affair. This film is based on the 2009 novel, The Glass Room, written by British author Simon Mawer. It was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize that same year. Its popularity here in the states and overseas in Europe was evidence that it was only a matter of time before it was turned into a feature film.

Here is the synopsis for The Affair:

In 1930s Czechoslovakia, newlyweds Viktor and Liesel Landauer are filled with optimism and happiness in their new home. But all too soon, extramarital temptations bring out their darkest secrets and desires. As Liesel turns to her sensual friend Hana for the passion she lacks in her marriage, Nazi troops enter the country, threatening the Landauer’s lives and the burning desire between the two women.

The Affair

The Affair is directed by Julius Sevcik. Based on a screenplay by Mawer and Andrew Shaw. It is produced by Rudolf Biermann and Josefina Borecka. It has a star-studded cast that includes Hannah Alström, Carice van Houten, Claes Bang, Alexandra Borbély, Martin Hofmann.

After seeing the trailer I had high hopes for The Affair. It offered an interesting premise as two best friends Hana and Liesel slowly start to fall for each other. But they live in dangerous times as Nazi troops have entered Czechoslovakia, forcing Liesel and Viktor to flee the country.


Unfortunately, The Affair’s main premise keeps getting diverted to other things going on in the lives of our feature characters. From the arrival of the Nazi’s all the way to Viktor’s affair with the nanny. At one point, it seems like it could almost be a different film as we seem to lose track of the relationship between Liesel and Hana. By the time we come back around to it, I had lost interest in their reunion.

The star of the film ends up being the real-life architectural estate where The Affair was shot. It is known by many to be a modernist masterpiece. It had been completed in the 1930’s and at its time considered to be a huge risk. I think that if they had spent a little more time developing the characters as they did feature the estate, we could have got a better result. 

Overall I was disappointed by The Affair. It had set a high bar with an amazing cast and shooting location. As well as a very interesting premise of friends that fall in love with each other. But the journey we were taken on featured characters not well thought out.

Overall Grade: C 

Vertical Entertainment’s The Affair is now available on VOD.

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Emmanuel Gomez

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