It’s 1818 in Hampstead Village on the outskirts of London. Poet Charles Brown lives in one half of a house, the Dilkes family who live in the other half. Through their association with the Dilkes, the fatherless Brawne family know Mr. Brown. The Brawne’s eldest daughter, Fanny Brawne, and Mr. Brown don’t like each other. She thinks he’s arrogant and rude, and he feels that she is pretentious, knowing only how to sew (admittedly well as she makes all her own fashionable clothes), flirt and give opinions on subjects about which she knows nothing. Insecure struggling poet John Keats comes to live with his friend, Mr. Brown. Miss Brawne and Mr. Keats have a mutual attraction to each other, a relationship which however is slow to develop in part since Mr. Brown does whatever he can to keep the two apart. But other obstacles face the couple, including their eventual overwhelming passion for each other clouding their view of what the other does, Mr. Keats’ struggling career which offers him little in the way of monetary security (which will lead to Mrs. Brawne not giving consent for them to marry), and health issues which had earlier taken the life of Mr. Keats’ brother, Tom.
London 1818: a secret love affair begins between 23 year-old English poet, John Keats (Ben Whishaw), and the girl next door, Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish), an out-spoken student of high fashion. This unlikely pair begin at odds, he thinking her a stylish minx, while she was unimpressed not only by his poetry but also by literature in general.However, when Fanny heard that Keats was nursing his seriously ill younger brother, her efforts to help touched Keats and when she asked him to teach her about poetry he agreed. The poetry soon became a romantic remedy that worked not only to sort their differences, but also to fuel an impassioned love affair.When Fanny's alarmed mother and Keats' best friend finally awoke to their attachment, the relationship had an unstoppable momentum. Intensely and helplessly absorbed in each other, the young lovers were swept deeply into powerful new sensations, "I have the feeling as if we're dissolving," Keats wrote to her. Together they rode a wave of romantic obsession that only deepened as their troubles mounted.When Keats fell ill a year later, the two young lovers faced no marriage but separation. In Keats' own poignant words, "forever panting and forever young." [D-Man2010]