I recently watched the movie Atonement and immediately recognized young writer Briony Tallis as INFJ. David Keirsey calls INFJs "authors," and they certainly make up a lot of stories for themselves as a way to cope with life and idealise or dramatise certain situations. I also find that Briony is a very misunderstood character in movie reviews, commentaries and synopsis.
I don't believe her reading Robbie's note and later accusing him was done out of jealousy but out of a need to do the righteous thing. She certainly didn't mean to lie when she said she "knew who it was," but did lie when she declared "I saw him with my own eyes." We see how offended and puzzled she is about Robbie and her sister Cecilia's secret sexual activities and feels like she does the right thing by speaking out about it. There's something about Briony and a need for purity.
I am fascinated by all the religious iconography that surrounds Briony from the very beginning of the film: as she sits typing her first play, we see a picture hanging above her head of a girl praying and seeing a light appearing before her. Briony is always wearing white, and as she watches Robbie being taken by the police, she sits by a stained-glass window.
When we later see her as a nurse, she begins to understand that what she felt was the right thing to do was actually a mistake of her immature judgmental attitude. She feels miserable and wants to be cleansed by doing a difficult nurse's job "making herself useful, doing something practical," which is a sacrifice for an Intuitive, since it means to set your creativity and ideas aside to live in the S (sensitive) world. NFs are known to do sacrificial things to repair what they've done wrong and need to pay the price to feel relieved. I think NFs will hold grace as something particularly astonishing.
Briony is ready to deny herself as she agrees with her nursing supervisor's words: "You are Nurse Tallis, there is no Briony."
"There is no Briony," Briony repeats to swallow it deep down.
Briony is often stained with blood in her work, and the colour red comes back as a kind of reminder of Hebrew 9:22: "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission."
In the scene where she apologizes to Robbie and Cecilia, we see her lift up her nurse's cape corners to reveal a red cross across her chest and there she makes her confession, accepting Robbie's anger and insults.
There are plenty of elements in this film that reveal the depths of Briony's heart and I have to admit I felt more compassion for her than for any other character in this story.
We can't hold her accountable for what happens concerning the war, since there are chances Robbie and Cecilia would have died in the World War II context, even if they hadn't been separated.
Well, that's my impression. I'm sure there will also be many who will hate Briony and just find her as foolish as she finds herself about what she did.