Friday, December 9, 2022


Offering a very natural feel of a father/daughter dynamic, writer/director Charlotte Wells' Aftersun offers a moment of time between Calum (Paul Mescal) and Sophie (Frankie Corio) on a vacation in Turkey which occurred on her 11th birthday. Intercutting between filmed scenes and those from the father's camcorder, a large amount of the movie feels like life playing out naturally making me curious as to how much of smaller moments were scripted. 

There are few moments where the movie loses this natural feel with obviously scripted moments between Sophie and other kids at the hotel and where it jumps forward to an older Sophie (Celia Rowlson-Hall) looking back on the camcorder footage where it veers away from the father and daughter dynamic that works so well in the other segments. Other than as a possible bookend to frame events, I don't know that the older Sophie adds much to the narrative.

The love between the characters can be felt in every scene, despite not every scene being a happy one. Wells presents an undercurrent for Colum that a young Sophie doesn't always understand (and, from the later sequences, one that still puzzles her years later). My only real gripe with Aftersun is the choice to fill gaps with dreamlike sequences of an older Sophie and her younger father both together in a dance club which I don't feel ultimately lead anywhere even half as interesting as the rest of the film but are given such important prominence they also can't be ignored. While others may disagree, I felt these scenes distracted rather than enhanced what was otherwise a quite lovely film.

  • Title: Aftersun
  • IMDb: link
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