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Aftersun (2022)

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  • Written by Bwoud on 11.01.2024

    A young father and his daughter spent an easy-going holiday together. Lounging by the pool. Having a go at some table sports. Visiting the sights. And accompanying them is a small camcorder. Operated mostly by the daughter it serves as a personal documentary of her time with her father. But the camera does not show the moments that the father wants to keep hidden. The bliss of a summer holiday is reviewed by him on the same camcorder whilst he is in darker times. Both literally and figuratively. And even later still, those recordings serve as a flashback for the daughter. Older, but no wiser to the state of her father on that holiday.

    Director and writer Charlotte Wells easily let's her camera do the observing. Shots linger and slowly drift. They do not show the objects centre-frame, or even completely. We are allowed to make of it what we can. With the actors finely tuned to each other and especially Paul Mescal (not) showing the many layers to his character, it leaves us to freely interpret everything. This film has rightly been called one of the best of the year. And I would heartily recommend it to those who feel they have not just the 101 minute runtime available. But more so those who have whatever time they need afterwards to review for themselves what the movie shows them.

    But be warned. In the end of the holiday and the film. I cannot help but feel as the father does. With the daughter out of frame, there is nothing left of the world. Just him. Alone. And slumped he must walk through the door of darkness and disappear, as he did in an earlier scene into the ocean. But now, into the memory of his daughter. Perhaps they will find each other. I hope so. I dearly hope so.

Aftersun Reviews