Jenn Rohm Reviews "The Aftermath"
I am one of those people who likes to go to movies for the escape from my own life, and this tends to influence my thoughts and opinions a great deal. With a film like director James Kent’s “The Aftermath” I found myself shifting from watching a movie for the escape from my own life to looking at the film as a study in grief, and speaking with another person after the film even shaped that opinion further.
Set-in post-World War II Hamburg Germany, Rachael Morgan (Kiera Knightley) is reunited with her husband, Colonel Lewis Morgan (Jason Clarke). Due to British occupation, the couple have taken claim of the Lubert estate, where Col. Morgan has chosen to allow Siegfried Lubert (Alexander Skarsgard) and his daughter Freda (Flora Thiemann) to remain in residence as opposed to sending them to one of the camps for displaced German nationals. Both the Morgan’s and the Lubert’s have suffered great loss from the war and are trying to come to terms with society’s view of each nation’s people while its people are seeing pieces of a fallen country (Germany) trying to find itself.
I do wish there had been more scenes that took place within the turmoil of Hamburg itself as opposed to how the majority of the scenes in “The Aftermath” take place within the Lubert estate. While it is realistic that military wives would be isolated to an extent from what was going on in the world around them, there is an amazingly missed opportunity to show another perspective of life post-warn torn country was lost. This film also suffers from slow pacing of that led me to multiple thoughts of “how much longer till the end,” and with the premise being what it is, it is also a shame the cliché options of storytelling were chosen over something that could have had a deeper impact with the audience.
A known cast gives the performance you would expect from them with some better at showing emotion and creating an emotional response while others just deliver lines. The costuming was also an issue for me, as some of it does not totally match with the time period with more “new” outfits and fewer repeats than one would expect of the time period and class level, especially on the lower end of that spectrum.
Part of me is glad I saw this and gained a different perspective to keep in mind while watching movies in the future. Another part of me feels this is an hour and forty-eight minutes of my life I won’t get back.