Writer: Joe Shrapnel, Anna Waterhouse, Rhidian Brook (Screenplay) Rhidian Brook (Novel)
Starring: Keira Knightley, Jason Clarke, Alexander Skarsgard, Flora Thiemann
Plot: Post World War II, a British colonel and his wife are assigned to live in Hamburg during the post-war reconstruction, but tensions arise with the German who previously owned the house.
Tagline – In The Aftermath Of War, The Last Thing She Expected To Find Was Love.
Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Entertaining Romance
Story: The Aftermath starts five months after World War II, Rachael Morgan (Knightley) is joining her husband Lewis (Clarke) in Hamburg in the post-war reconstruction, taking the house of architect Stephen Lubert (Skarsgard). After struggling to adjust, Lewis suggests letting Stephen and his daughter Freda (Thiemann) remain in the house on the top floor.
Lewis knows the troubles between the two sides will still be there, but is understanding and wants to bring the people together, while Rachael isn’t sure who to trust with reputation of the past, which only leads to her question Stephen more about his past, while the two slowly start an affair that could risk everything for the two.
Thoughts on The Aftermath
Characters – Rachael Morgan is joining her husband in Hamburg, she has suffered the loss of their son during the war and isn’t the most convinced about moving to Germany post-war, she doesn’t like living with Germans, only to learn they have suffered the same as she has because of the war. She does start an affair with the owner of the house, one that will see her want to leave the pain of her marriage. Lewis is the soldier assigned to help out in Hamburg, meaning his family would join him, he does have more patience than many of the British soldiers, knowing that the war being over is more important than who killed who in the conflict. He does come off like a genuine person that wants things to change for the good. Stephen Lubert is the man whose house the couple must live in, a once famous architect who lost his wife in the war, he is thankful for being let remain in the house and must convince the British he had nothing to do with the Nazi party, while falling in love with Rachael. Freda is the daughter of Stephen who has grown a resentment towards the British, she is easily led by the younger fighters who still believe the war to be on, getting caught in a position she should never have been put through.
Performances – Keira Knightley in the leading role is great to watch showing us just how great she is in these roles, she is surrounded by two strong supporting roles from Jason Clarke and Alexander Skarsgard too.
Story – The story follows a wife that must move to Hamburg to be with her husband as he starts to try and lead the rebuilding of Germany after the war, only to fall in love with a local whose house they are living in. The most important factor to shown in this story is the loss the four main characters have suffered because of the war, the British couple lost a child, while the Germany’s lost a mother and wife, they never got a true chance to grieve because of the conflict, which has caused even more tension between the two sides. When it comes to the affair, it does show that people who have been through the worst can be there for each other. Outside of this, we do get to see how people were truly affected by the war and would do extreme things to get their own revenge for the loss in war too. Only we don’t focus enough on this side of the story, instead it is all about the romance, which is everything you would have seen before.
Romance – The romance in the film does take centre stage, sadly, because this isn’t anything we haven’t seen before and we did have a lot more interesting side arcs we could have invested in.
Settings – The film is set in Hamburg and does show the devastation of the war, with the destroyed buildings showing us just how helpless the innocent would be even after the war.
Scene of the Movie – The Ice River.
Final Thoughts – This is a nice simple post-war romance movie, it has great performances, even if it does focus on the weaker aspect of the story instead of a more interesting one.
Overall: Nice Post-War Drama.