The Aftermath (2019 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||James Kent|
|Based on||The Aftermath|
by Rhidian Brook
|Music by||Martin Phipps|
|Edited by||Beverley Mills|
|Distributed by||Fox Searchlight Pictures|
|Box office||$9.2 million|
The Aftermath is a 2019 drama film directed by James Kent and written by Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse, based on the 2013 novel of the same name by Rhidian Brook. It stars Keira Knightley, Alexander Skarsgård and Jason Clarke. The film had its world premiere at the Glasgow Film Festival on 26 February 2019. It was released in the United States on 15 March 2019, by Fox Searchlight Pictures.
The Aftermath is set in postwar Germany in 1945. Rachael Morgan arrives in the ruins of Hamburg in the bitter German winter to be reunited with her husband Lewis Morgan, a colonel of British Forces Germany charged with rebuilding the shattered city and dealing with violent insurgent Werwolf activities. The couple, whose relationship is tense due to their son Michael being killed during the Blitz by German bombing, will be staying in the requisitioned house of German architect Stefan Lubert and his teenage daughter Freda Lubert. Lewis decides to let Stefan and Freda stay in the house in the attic, a decision that Rachael is initially unhappy with because of her resentment toward Germans over Michael's death. She is very rude to Stefan. Meanwhile, Freda connects with Bertie, who is a young German deeply involved in the Werwolf movement.
However, Rachael bonds with Stefan over shared grief: Stefan's wife was killed by Allied bombing. Rachael and Stefan begin having an affair. The situation is complicated by British Forces Germany suspecting Stefan of Werwolf involvement, though it is actually Freda's boyfriend Bertie who is involved. Lewis eventually realizes Rachael and Stefan are having an affair when he hears of her advocating on Stefan's behalf. When Lewis confronts Rachael, she tells him that she is leaving him to be with Stefan. Bertie tries to assassinate Lewis but instead kills Lewis's chauffeur by mistake. Bertie attempts to escape through the woods but falls through ice to his death. Lewis tells Rachael to leave the next morning. After Lewis admits his grief over Michael to Rachael, she hugs him. She accompanies Stefan and Freda to the train station but decides to stay with Lewis instead of leaving with Stefan.
- Keira Knightley as Rachael Morgan, Lewis’s wife
- Alexander Skarsgård as Stefan Lubert
- Jason Clarke as Colonel Lewis Morgan, Rachael’s husband
- Martin Compston as Keith Burnham
- Kate Phillips as Susan Burnham
- Flora Thiemann as Freda Lubert
- Jannik Schümann as Albert "Bertie"
- Fionn O'Shea as Major Barker
- Pip Torrens as General Brook
- Anna Katharina Schimrigk as Heike
- Alexander Scheer as Siegfried Leitmann
In August 2016, it was announced Fox Searchlight Pictures acquired the film, with Alexander Skarsgård and Keira Knightley starring in the film, with James Kent directing the film from a screenplay by Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse, while Ridley Scott will serve as a producer on the film, under his Scott Free Productions banner. That same month, Jason Clarke joined the cast of the film. In February 2017, Fionn O'Shea joined the cast of the film.
The Aftermath was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 11 June 2019.
The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, reported that 27% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 143 reviews, with an average rating of 4.97/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "Tasteful to a fault, The Aftermath is worth seeking out only for the most passionate period drama enthusiasts." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 43 out of 100 based on 33 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."
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