Loosely based on the wartime experiences of legendary Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, John Maybury's "The Edge of Love" is visually breathtaking, capturing the claustrophobic intensity of London during the Blitz, as opposed to the serenity of Thomas' Welsh seacoast home, with an artist's eye; but as drama, the story tends to drift, particularly during the rather melodramatic 'third act', despite vivid performances by Keira Knightley (who can sing!) and Sienna Miller. Ultimately, the film is an engrossing misfire, worth viewing, but lacking a cohesive core.
Thomas (as portrayed by Matthew Rhys), is a moody, brilliant, but childish artist, full of passion, but unable to see beyond his own desires. When his childhood lover, Vera Phillips (Knightley) appears in London to pursue a career as an entertainer, he begins a campaign to bed her, and relive his past...which doesn't sit well with his beautiful, tempestuous wife, Caitlin (Miller). While both Thomases have relaxed mores about infidelity (despite their intense jealousy), Caitlin and Vera soon discover, through their mutual love of Dylan, a bond that turns the situation into a playful, non-sexual ménage-à-trois. When young soldier William Killick (Cillian Murphy) falls for Vera, however, the chemistry changes, as she matures, and learns to accept 'adult' love and responsibility. Killick is posted in war-torn Greece, Vera moves to Wales with the Thomases (and soon has Killick's child), but Dylan's unabated, selfish desire for Vera untimately leads to tragedy for both couples.
It is actually a standard formula for drama, and plays out with few surprises. Still, Keightley is luminous, Miller is fiery and sympathetic, and the actresses succeed in keeping your interest, even when the story falters.
The Special Features include Commentary, a 'Making Of' featurette, and a very funny gag reel (watch how difficult it is for non-smoking actors to convincingly portray WWII chain-smokers!)
If you are a fan of Keira Knightley, I can highly recommend "The Edge of Love"; for all others, it is a mixed blessing!