The stage is set: A quaint picnic on a clear day. Joe Rose (played by Daniel Craig in the film) and Clarissa Mellon (Samantha Morton) share a bottle of 1987 Daumas Gassac. Suddenly, a man's cry interrupts the scene. Without thinking twice, Rose begins to run. He sprints "away from [happiness]," toward the shrieking. Two hundred feet in the air, Rose locates the source of the disruption: a boy, trapped in the basket of a hot-air balloon, is being tossed by blasts of wind. Rose is joined by several men -- including Jed Parry (Rhys Ifans) -- and together they manage to bring the balloon to safety, though not without casualty. In the process of saving the young boy, the first man, John Logan, dies.
Though tragic, Logan's death is not the only devastating consequence. In the moment of the rescue, Rose and Parry exchange a seemingly innocuous glance that ignites an obsession within Parry's disturbed, psychopathic soul. Scorned and manic Parry stalks Rose, testing the limits of the latter's rationalism and increasingly fragile sanity.
In his timeless novel Enduring Love, British author Ian McEwan (Sweet Tooth, Atonement) asserts that all it takes is one instant, one singular, cosmic shift, for everything you know and love to crash down to Earth.
Ian McEwan's Enduring Love was adapted for the big screen in 2004. The film, directed by Roger Mitchell ("Notting Hill") and written by Joe Penhall, stars Daniel Craig, Rhys Ifans, and Samantha Morton.
Want more from Ian McEwan? Watch the bestselling author share his thoughts on the adaptations of his own books here.