After movie review: Terrifying combination of 50 Shades and Twilight that celebrates sexual predators
Oh dear. Just when we thought the spine chilling curse of the Twilight and 50 Shades films was done once and for all, in comes After, a film that seems like a terrifying combination of both those franchises. Unless you are in for a celebration of bad cinema, After is the kind of film that will make you claw your nails on your seats.
The setup, predictably, is exactly what you expect – a teenage virgin American high school girl (Josephine Langford) becomes infatuated with the brooding handsome dude with a strange accent (Hero Feinnes Tiffin). She keeps away from him because he is so antagonistic, but like all ‘bad boys’ his lure is irresistible, and he also happens to have a six pack which the camera seems to be humping and drooling over during the shirtless moments. Anyway, bad boy turns on his charm meter to 11, takes her to a deserted sunlit lake, snogs her and of course virgin girl falls head over heels in love. To uncover the mystery of what happens next, you will have to make the effort of sitting through what seems like many hours of cheesy soap opera teenybopper romance and some head spinningly obtuse clichés.
Now, the problem with this film is not just that it is hackneyed from start to end, or that it contains some hammy performances from a few recognisable names, or that it makes no effort to distinguish itself from the dozens and dozens of other films of the young adult genre that defecated upon the cinematic universe in the last decade. Those things are bad, but not as frustrating as the fact that the film glorifies forgiveness of sexual predators, and that true love somehow erases the damage that a predator can cause, just because said predator has nice hair. This kind of messaging in 2019 makes one want to fling bricks at the screen, but the damage that it could cause to young and impressionable girls watching this film is quite dangerous, given the rosy packaging of the film.
The film also does not really capture the essence of young romance or even young women’s lives in an accurate manner – (for authenticity and quality filmmaking, please check out Bo Burnam’s amazing Eighth Grade) – what After really does is reinforce the bubble that privileged kids grow up in, shielding them from common sense and challenging environments to gain deeper perspectives. Such grand dissemination of a movie as frivolous as this may seem over the top, but it is necessary to call out a movie that has the potential to begin another franshise which espouses regressive human behavior and celebrates it on a mainstream scale.
For what it is worth, both Feinnes Tiffin and Langford seem like they are talented but pigeonholed in a terrible film much like the now successful Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson were a few years ago. Hopefully, both follow Pattinson’s route as soon as possible and make better choices.
Updated Date: May 03, 2019 15:30:18 IST
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