Tonally, The Aftermath has an idea of what it wants, but the execution just isn’t there
It’s difficult, even after watching, to find The Aftermath’s true purpose. It’s messages are clear, if a little over zealous, its situational standing is obvious and its script flows well enough, but the reason behind its making, the true meaning of why The Aftermath was such a draw to three very credible actors, isn’t quite as obvious.
Sitting as a post-World War II drama, The Aftermath details the story of Rachael (Kiera Knightly) and Lewis (Jason Clarke) Morgan, reunited again after the war’s end. The pair are offered living space in a large mansion just outside the city of Hamburg, formerly home to a German widower and his daughter. Lewis, a Colonel in the British Army, cannot bring himself to remove the pair and leave them on the street, offering them accommodation in the building’s attic. Rachael deeply disagrees with her husband’s decision, believing their home should remain purely and solely theirs, and not shared by those she considers unworthy.
The Aftermath is absolutely let down by its predictability, amongst other less clear issues. It struggles to make itself ever stand out, lying flat on both excitement and undertones for almost all of its run time. Rarely do its scenes transcend what goes on within the four corners of the screen, and with World War II being one of the most fictionalised and dramatised times throughout all of history, it simply had to stand out in at least one unique way.
Almost certainly too mainline, the film cannot express its individuality from the multiple other dramas looking to explore similar themes of hatred through war nostalgia. Ultimately, the love triangle does not match up to the theming, only seeming as if it were a device and a fake source of drama, rather than anything more excitingly real.
Very little expression stems from the piece, but it certainly understands the time, and at least looks realistic and genuine. There’s a strong attempt to localise the views of a generation through one couple, rather than making the issues personal, and showing how unnecessary the deep seated hate was. Tonally, The Aftermath has an idea of what it wants, but the execution just isn’t there.
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