What happens when you miss the first half of a film and don’t know why the characters turned out the way they do? So ponders this film’s narrator, Kay. “It’s like a riddle you have to solve,” she muses. And so begins The Night Watch, a restless and fragmented tale of intersecting lives and love—based on the bestselling Sarah Waters novel and produced by the BBC—that follows several wayward Londoners back in time from a post–World War II city to the Blitz bombings.
Kay tries to forget her wartime nights and lost female lovers. Duncan, a fragile young gay man who spent half the war in prison, struggles to reinvent himself. And Viv can’t seem to end her affair with a married soldier. In a world where physical intimacy has offered only brief respites, endings, whether happy or not, may have to suffice.
Total time: 90 min