Don Reviews "The Aftermath"
There is a lot of documentation when it comes to war (the number of casualties, dates, victories, etc.), but there is less out there about the fallout from the conflicts as it affects those who live there. From emotional issues, PTSD to trying to rebuild homes and neighborhoods, these stories can be just as important because of how these lives are affected. On a smaller scale, I understand what it is like to put a life back on track after unfortunate events after I endured an apartment fire that caused a lot of damage to things I could not replace. With “The Aftermath,” these issues (and so much more) are addressed during post-World War II.
Directed by James Kent, this film stars Kiera Knightly (Pirates of the Caribbean), Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty), Alexander Skarsgard (also currently in “The Hummingbird Project”), and Flora Thiemann (Tigermilch), taking place in Hamburg five months after the end of the war. Rachael (Knightley) arrives in Germany to reunite with her husband, Lewis (Clarke), who is in the British military assigned to lead the recovery and rebuilding of Germany to live in a house occupied by the British after it must be surrendered by Stephen Lubert (Skarsgard). Rachael does not like being in Germany or around its people which fuels resentment to Stephen and his daughter Freda (Thiemann) and carries her own issues that she needs to deal with as it pertains to her marriage. Against his wife’s wishes of Rachael, Lewis lets Stephen and his daughter stay in the house while he is assigned there instead of making them go to an imprisonment camp in the middle of winter. Everything builds up as all of the issues come to light in ways none of them thought it would.
This film does well in making the sets and props time period correct, especially as Germany is represented by Prague. The cities and nature scenes had that feel of Germany in the wintertime coupled with a cinematography style that makes for a had a good look overall. There are no blockbuster performances for me, but Knightley fits right in by doing another time period role like “Pride & Prejudice” and both Clarke and Skarsgard are par for their roles.
“The Aftermath” is an hour and forty-eight minutes long, which is about ten minutes longer than it should have been. I was able to follow the plot, but it was slow moving and very predictable, especially with a lot being given away by the trailer. It did not bore me to death, but it was OK to watch, so I will recommend this film as a Redbox rental only.