I will try to make this review as brief as possible so as not to reveal too much of the plot. Why? Because I think you should go and see it. The acting is good and the film as a whole is rather charming. The character Stefan Lubert is played by Alexander Skarsgård who seemed to be an unknown to most a few years ago and now is seen as hot property to many. He certainly cements this accolade with another convincing and controlled performance. Having an ‘easy on the eye’ appeal does help though which often goes hand in hand with him seemingly always playing a love interest of some description.
The character Rachael Morgan is played by Keira Knightley and whether you love or loathe her she can certainly act and in this film, seems to be able to cry on demand. At least three times she turns on the waterworks. Now, I agree crying is not acting but I do think she can do both rather well. For me, acting is all about whether you believe the character and care.
I think this is where The Aftermath really hits the spot on many levels. I cared about all the characters, including Jason Clarke as Lewis Morgan. To me this film is very well layered. There is the realisation at the end of WWII that contrary to the way history can be portrayed, it wasn’t all happily ever after for the country that lost or the allies that won. There was so many things to figure out on both sides. Displacement and disorientation had to be confronted by those not sitting around desks, carving up Germany’s infrastructure and economy whilst doing deals and devouring foods aplenty. Whilst outside there was starvation and stigma. It was obviously an extremely tense and turbulent time, and one I readily and regretfully admit, I hadn’t thought much about.
The audience is then landed straight into the calm within carnage, and the rights of those that won the war against those whose country lost the war, and to see them lose a lot more. Their homes and their dignity. Their loyalty and legitimacy questioned, in their own homes, in their own country.
This then is the setting for psychological turmoil for all involved. As already insinuated I do like the way this all develops together, and caring about the characters is helped along with a good script and good acting all round.
This film seems to have had some unfair reviews in my opinion after its opening weekend. I advise you to go and see it. If not for the acting or the actors, then perhaps for the ideas or ideals within it, the psychology of the characters, or just to see a beautifully appointed house complete with a Mies Van Der Rohe lounge chair.
Mark Scotchford © 08/03/2019