The Aftermath (2019)
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Critic Reviews for The Aftermath
Knightley's character is - hello! - more sympathetic and sensual than in the novel, while Clarke's is more one-dimensional, to the point of caricature.
It does not achieve the emotional resonance that it's looking for, but Keira Knightly does wear some great dresses.
A shallow excuse for attractive actors to get their kit off.
When all of these various plot strands do finally collide they do so with a heavy-handed thud that's both obnoxiously coincidental as well as being emotionally disingenuous.
The film aspires to be an epic romance but the qualities necessary to make it soar aren't in place. Instead, it's a curiosity for history buffs and those who enjoy middling period piece melodramas.
Audience Reviews for The Aftermath
I am struggling to come up with something of substance to say about The Aftermath, an adequate drama with decent performances, handsome production design, and a boring love triangle. It's set in the aftermath of World War Two Germany in the Allied-occupied stretch. Jason Clarke plays a British officer stationed in another man's home, a wealthy German local (Alexander Skarsgard) who lost his wife in the war. Clarke's wife (Keira Knightley) is anxious to go home, still processing her grief from losing her child during the war and her relationship with her distant husband seems irreparable. It's only a matter of time before Knightley and Skarsgard find comfort in one another, and they do, almost absurdly quickly. The more interesting story is Clarke trying to keep a fragile peace in the ruins of bombed-out Germany while Nazi sympathetic elements conspire to form an insurgency against the remaining officers. Now that's a movie I would watch. That's a way more intriguing storyline, and one I'm sure chapter after chapter was filled with sprawling, conspiratorial detail in the novel by Rhidian Brook. Alas, we're stuck with a pretty drab love affair between two pretty people. I didn't feel any passion between them; it felt like they were acting by-the-numbers, and ultimately maybe that was what the director had in mind all along. I found my mind drifting away for long interludes, thinking about other movies, thinking about watching other historical dramas. The acting is pretty good all around. Knightley has a standout scene where she breaks down and reveals the full extent of her maternal grief and what it has done to her marriage. The Aftermath will be readily forgotten in its own aftermath, and I don't think too many viewers will mourn. Nate's Grade: C
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