Parents' Guide to

After Love

By Kat Halstead, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Intimate drama has language, infidelity, partial nudity.

Movie NR 2023 89 minutes
After Love film poster

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 1 parent review

age 16+

After Love – Overly Extended With Suss Scenes

This reminds me of the kind of movies the English BFI used to make back in the 50s -60s - except then, they knew they had limited outlets, so made them short for the experimental market (the thoughtful ‘Together’ ’56 comes to mind). This British/French production might have been better as a 40min featurette or a 1 hr (max) TV show but here, has been stretched out to feature-length, and even at 90mins creaks and groans its way to its laborious end. British/Pakistani writer-director Aleem Khan has a reasonable grip on grief but pads out his stories transfer to the screen with ponderous, overly arty shots, often knitted together in a visually clumsy fashion --minimal dialogue and situations bordering on unbelievability-- with many scenes ending up as self-aware navel gazing. This is the stuff Film Festivals and fringe cinema thrive on, especially when it unnecessarily adds trendy homosexuality to its agenda-pushing themes. Chris Roe’s minimalist music score is well used and the cinematography is stylish, all performances are professional but its overall entertainment appeal will be certainly limited. Some might even sum this up as one of those movies that unfold in two speeds; slow and dead stop.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Writer-director Aleem Khan's debut feature film is a confidently handled and highly original drama that rightly earned him three BAFTA nominations. After Love's lead actor, however, went one better, with Scanlan winning the Best Actress award for her portrayal of Mary. Scanlan, best known for her characters in British comedy dramas such as The Thick of It, gives a mesmerizing performance from start to finish as a woman whose world falls apart around her after the sudden death of her husband. Khan's assured direction allows for a stillness and silence that makes space for the actor to really hold the screen. Every breath and flick of the eye is saturated with emotion, building up a tension that almost surpasses the plot altogether.

Moments of rawness and connection take on symbolic beauty, such as Mary partly submerged beneath the lapping tide on the beach, letting both the water and her feelings wash over her; the two "wronged" women lying next to each other on a bed, mirroring two sides of an experience; or characters looking over a cliff's edge, contemplating the future. It's beautiful, impactful stuff that makes Khan one to watch closely over the coming years and will hopefully lead to broader opportunities for Scanlan to explore her remarkable talent.

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