I watched this movie yesterday afternoon and quite frankly I am not sure what to think of it. It is a good movie, but Abel Mason got himself entwined in so much deception for so long and involved his son. I cannot help but wonder if he could have avoided it all somehow. Why didn’t Abel leave his wife before and divorce her? He didn’t have to wait until he fell in love with another woman to decide to leave. I really like Abel and it is easy to see that he is a good man, but his choices were not the best ones. How did he end up choosing such a horrible woman for a wife in the first place?
Ciaran Hinds portrays Abel Mason. Abel after learning that his wife wrote a letter to the husband of his lover who killed her and then himself finally leaves and takes his son with him.
Abel’s wife verbally abused him and physically abused their son for many years making life a living hell.
Abel with his lover who was murdered by her husband just when they both decided to leave their spouses and build a life together for themselves.
One day Abel meets Hilda after rescuing her husband from an attack. As a thank you Hilda’s husband offers Abel a job and roof over their heads. Abel accepts, but he changes his last name from Mason to Gray so that no one finds out that he left his wife and took their son with him. Shortly afterwards Hilda’s husband dies and she reveals to Abel that she loves him but had to keep her feelings to herself because she was married. Amanda Root plays Hilda and I love her in this role opposite Ciaran Hinds.
Hilda is jealous of her sister Florrie and told lies about her being with many men which was not true. Abel fancied Florrie, but managed to get Abel to agree to marry her. Abel felt that he had to marry Hilda or else he would be out of work and out on the streets again with his son. The marriage was not legal though since Abel never divorced his wife.
Many years went by and Abel helped Hilda to keep the motor car business that her deceased husband started profitable. Eventually though Abel gravitated towards Florrie and they had an affair. Apparently Hilda was not so opened to Abel when it came to having marital relations. Florrie became pregnant and had a girl.
Abel’s wife found him after many years and showed up on Hilda’s door step. Abel was arrested and went to trail. The maximum prison sentence for bigamy is seven years, but Abel only received one years because of a letter that Hilda wrote to the judge. She confessed that she backed Abel into a corner about marrying her and that he did not want to do it initially. Hilda also told the judge that Abel was an exemplary father and helped her with the motorcar business while never profiting from it himself.
Florrie was injured in a raid and died, but while she was in the hospital Hilda came to visit and apologized for treating her so badly over the years and telling lies about her. Florrie made Hilda promise that if anything happened to her that she would take Abel back and raise their daughter.
Hilda keeps her promise to Florrie and Abel is completely ashamed of himself. Hilda was always a good woman who really deserved better than what she received in life. When the going got tough Hilda told the truth and rose the occasion which is not something that Abel could say about himself.