Tag Archives: A24

Aftersun Review

Aftersun is a film in which people look at their lives both past and present. Aftersun is filled with melancholy moments, but they display endearment. This may not be a feel-good movie. However, it is breathtaking in terms of its narrative.  Aftersun’s positive light is the struggle which involves mixed feelings between a father and a daughter.

The film focuses on a father, Calum, and his daughter Sophie. Calum is played by Paul Mescal and Sophie is played by Frankie Corio. They are on a vacation together and experience frustrations with each other and with themselves. They have their good days, but also bad days when their fun plans fall apart. Aftersun is about the struggle of accepting the hard life that Calum and Sophie lead. Calum has a rough past, and so does Sophie. Her father does the best he can to be a good father, although it is hard for Sophie to see that in him. It is also difficult for her to accept that he oversees her.

Aftersun is a film that feels experimental because it closely follows the dynamics of Calum and Sophie’s relationship. Their vacation is filled with tension and the intriguing narrative connects effectively with the film’s cinematography. Aftersun portrays true feelings of disconnect in a surreal tone of dramatic filmmaking. The conflicted relationship between Calum and Sophie is unique. It shows that they have hatred, but deeply want to feel connected with each other. In Mescal’s role as Calum, he displays a generous amount of love as a father. In Corio’s role as Sophie, she displays belligerent behavior as a daughter. Aftersun’s story of attempted reconciliation is deep with irreparable consequences.  The emotions between Calum and Sophie are purely sad, but purely engrossing.

With the complicated frustrations and tension between Calum and Sophie, Aftersun flows like a depressing story. However, it is about Calum and Sophie figuring out how to get on the same page to maintain their relationship. The story is about how they come to terms of acceptance, despite their dark past. Calum’s challenging childhood drags her into his suffering. Aftersun is ultimately about forgiveness and second chances despite the struggles between them.

Aftersun is hard to feel positive about. I did appreciate the movie for its realist portrayal of a difficult subject. I found reflecting upon how relationships tend to hurt so much with the ones we love most. The film’s direction and style of filmmaking is faithful to life and society. Three stars for Aftersun.

God’s Creatures Review

God’s Creatures is a film that is about protecting the ones we love most. It is also about irreparable consequences, that can sometimes come with being protective. In the film’s approach, God’s Creatures is dark and ominous. The film starts out with some positivity. That would be among family, friends, and those that reconnect after harsh times. The happiness does not last though with God’s Creatures. The tension only grows as more conflicts or deceit begins to be realized.

The setting is set in Ireland, in a fishing village. The cinematography is brisk in its unsettling continuity. With being shot in a negative format of 35 mm projection (with Kodak), the lighting is more natural in the film’s gloom. The web of deceit and dishonesty awaits. The technicality only keeps fading to negative tones.  Emily Watson is a mother, and Paul Mescal plays her son. Both are at the center of what is wrong in God’s Creatures. The small town is one that is hard to hide secrets in, and God’s Creatures is set for destruction among relationships.

In God’s Creatures, Watson plays Aileen O’Hara. She is a mother that has a job working with catching oysters. They go through distribution in the fishing village she lives in. Her life though, comes to a dramatic change. Her son Brian (Mescal) comes home. He has been living in another country for a while after a rough past. He decides to come back home. He hopes to have a fresh start after his previous troubles. He starts to pick up some shifts back at home in the fishing village. Aileen tries to keep hope in herself for Brian’s improvements. This all changes though when the authorities reach out to Aileen. They tell her they believe Brian is a criminal for a crime. As a mother, she wants to protect her son. Aileen lies for Brian. Her lie though begins to add fuel to the fire for her friends, family, and worst of all Brian.

As Aileen must face the reality of her choice to protect her son, she must also understand how it can impact her life as well. With Brian’s importance to her, she believes there is faith. It will require more drastic decisions though. As Aileen says, “We’re all God’s creatures in the dark.” Aileen wants to know her son will be ok. It is not guaranteed though, especially since she is dishonest for him. God’s Creatures paints a clear picture of the consequences for lying and the choices one’s made to protect their children.

In the film, the world of happiness and peace comes to a halt. God’s Creatures is a film where the title speaks for itself, and it does so with its breathtaking cinematography. It also does so with its mesmerizing performances by Watson and Mescal. God’s Creatures is destructive by cinematic and artistic nature. The underlying issues are enigmatic and engrossing.

God’s Creatures is not an uplifting film. It is realistic though. The harshness is clear as to why it is happening. The tough love is in-depth, and the light is hard to find. With the fishing village though, the answers may be around many fragments of the film’s setting. Three stars for God’s Creatures.