After (2019) – SPOILERS – Some Good, Some Bad

This is really more of an expansion of my thoughts about the movie already discussed in the non spoiler review. I’ve now had time to think and let the story sink in and think about it for a couple of days.

I will start with the positives. Firstly, the humour. The boyfriend that felt more like a brother was the first shocker and it kept on going. The second, the cinematography and clothing choices, yes it does go in to cliché’s sometimes, but its understated and not ripped from a fashion magazine. Thirdly, the chemistry between Josephine and Hero like I’ve said before. Fourth, the subversive plot and writing in certain times that is only hindered either by bad editing or just a bad plot in general. Fourth, Tessa as a character is one who I love, calling out on things that have usually been dismissed and being rightly confused and having the right to mourn but still move on. She’s the anti-Bella and I love it. Fifth, the consent to sex and condom. Showing them is not radical, but how its shown as the right choice is especially now and it’s not explicit, but the act is made as natural which is just applause worthy.

I think this movie is more meant for those who have read the book. Like the Harry Potter movies-of-the-books were, leaving many things unexplained or cut and just going on with the story regardless but still explained things so you weren’t out of the loop. But it made me, a stranger to the story and characters feel out of the loop. I can’t believe I am saying this, but even Twilight established things early on and kept those scenes-between-the-scenes that are important in making the story flow that I felt are missing here. There is a talk about Hardin’s father getting married again and then much later on they are at the reception, in book this might work where in that we can go in to much more detail and remind the reader, but it was jarring to see and I had to remember quite hard who exactly was getting married and who the characters were. In other words there would able to show Hardin and Tessa getting the invitation to the reception (why weren’t they at the wedding? for example and explaining or just having a conversation about it even though I know Hardin’s attitude to them is the reason why I still asked the question when I felt I shouldn’t) and then Tessa going dress shopping something with her friends.

And speaking of friends. Apart from Tessa’s Bisexual roommate who made an impression on me (but not enough to remember her name) and Meg who is something to Hardin the rest are quite forgettable event though their names are stated I am completely lost to them now. The thing is characters have to make an impression to be able to be remembered and Tessa’s – her roommate’s really – friends all seem like the same weed and smoking with faults and stereotypical college students we have seen in other movies. Tessa’s roommate is by actions an exception with her considerably more screen time shown and she does seem like a good person, except for one fault which is not to tell Tessa about the bet, but then again none of the others did because of pack mentality. Also, if it seemed i condoned the weed then I want to say here that I don’t. It’s just something meant to establish the character and why Tessa’s mom doesn’t like her.

Then there is the case that it seems Tessa only has her mother, her ex and Hardin in her life. Hardin’s new brother (I honestly can’t remember the character’s name) is a friend to Tessa, but he gets so little screen time just like her roommate’s friend group that he leaves an impression of what he is like (for me), but not even as simple as what his name is. At least in the film Twilight they spent time with the friends and their problems, while here they are just there, with not much else to add except the usual college flair and sex and their importance at the climax of the film. It would have been nice if Tessa would have had conversations with her friends, that’s all that I am saying because their deceit comes out of left field and though her roommate seems to regret what they did she doesn’t show up again and the attention is all on Hardin and his part in it. There was the establishment of the video shown at the party and when the whole thing is shown at the end, but shouldn’t there be some kind of lingering camera shots on Tessa’s roommate or any of the other people before this comes to light when Tessa and Hardin are together. I don’t want them giggling to themselves, that is bad writing, but close ups of their faces looking at one another with a knowing look for us to sense that something is off but we don’t know what. I really hope they get more screen time in the next movie, though with all the Tess and Hardin centric plot it seems a miracle if they do.

That’s all I have to say for now in this movie. I think I will read the book and watch this film series for completions sake. And yes, I will be this critical in the future, but I think I’ll think before wearing liquid eyeliner and kohl the next time I watch the sequel.



Thank you for reading!

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