Kieran Akhtar’s review published on Letterboxd:
Brilliant and worthwile, this film took me by surprise.
I had expectations that this would be a simple and forgettable use of my evening; instead, I was pleasantly surprised to be gifted with great acting performances all round, an auteur's influence by Gerwig (the director of Ladybird) and some of the most incredible costume designs I have seen.
Although this had higher pay-off in some moments, and weaker connections in others, the non-linearity of the storytelling allows us to experience the consequences of the past simultaneously with scenes from the future. This develops a viewing of the film with an overarching knowledge of the karmic cycle; realising the effects of each lady's actions and choices, as well as perceiving the truth of what comes from life-affecting descisions.
Baring this in mind, it is interesting that this could actually be a perspective of the writer of the book rather than a truthful representation of the characters she writes about. The reason I say this is because the ending of the film opens doors to ambiguity throughout the whole film. We now are left with questions: why were we shown this (feminist) version of the film? What is the inherent message behind the book? This interpretative narrative increases the depth of this film two-fold and allows us to make our own ending, paint our own version of life depending on how we wish for it to be.
I am left with the quesiton; are we watching scenes taken from her book or are these scenes representing reality itself? I root for every character in this film and hope all their dreams come true, as does Jo March (Saoirse Ronan).