The Kingfisher (1982)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Comedy, Romantic Drama  |   Run Time - 78 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Missed opportunities and second chances are at the heart of The Kingfisher, and the fact that its two main characters are in their seventies and don't have too many chances left gives it an added poignancy. Yet despite some undeniable assets, Kingfisher is also something of a missed opportunity itself. After all, one has the unique screen presence of Rex Harrison and the very special talent of Wendy Hiller at hand, and so it's hard not to expect some real fireworks. Still, even with both thespians giving spot-on performances, Kingfisher doesn't totally satisfy. It comes across as slightly too artificial. The film is based on a stage play and it feels like it. Even the set-up -- of a man asking his lost love to visit him on the very day of her husband's funeral to try to rekindle the old romance -- doesn't ring true; it's too pat, too literary, even if some of the eventual plot twists do surprise. And while there is sparkle and fizz to much of the dialogue, it too often feels as if it were written and being quoted, rather than having originated at that moment with these characters. All these reservations aside, there's still a great deal here to like, especially for fans of the stars and/or fans of witty banter; it's just a shame that the film doesn't pack more genuine punch.