The Aftermath

Alexander Skarsgård, Jason Clarke and Keira Knightley in a scene from 'The Aftermath'. (Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Alexander Skarsgård, Jason Clarke and Keira Knightley in a scene from 'The Aftermath'. (Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures)


4/5 Stars


Germany, 1946. Rachael Morgan arrives in the ruins of Hamburg in the bitter winter, to be reunited with her husband, Lewis, a British colonel charged with rebuilding the shattered city. But, as they set off for their new home, Rachael is stunned to discover that Lewis has made an unexpected decision: They will be sharing the grand house with its previous owners, a German widower and his troubled daughter. In this charged atmosphere, enmity and grief give way to dramatic passion and betrayal.


The Aftermath is a well-made drama that looks at war from a completely different perspective. Set in post-war Germany in 1946 the film explores the devastating after-effects of the conflict that changed the course of history.

The film follows Rachael Morgan (Keira Knightley) as she arrives from Britain in a war-torn Hamburg during winter to join her husband, Lewis Morgan (Jason Clarke), a colonel of the British Forces Germany.

On her arrival, Rachael discovers that she must share their house with its previous owner - a German architect, Stefan Lubert (Alexander Skarsgård), and his daughter. Stefan lost his wife in the war and Rachael, her son – both are still struggling to come to terms with the death of their loved ones.

It's this shared grief and hatred that ignites an unlikely spark between the two characters and is fuelled even more by a fiery sexual attraction to each other.

This beautifully styled film moves slowly as it explores the sometimes-brutal themes of love and hate.

Rachael must face her prejudices against Stefan while he must bear the consequences of benefiting from a Nazi-ruled Germany although he never joined Hitler's regime.

Can we forgive those that have hurt us most? Can we accept our privilege and take steps to correct the wrongs of the past actively? Are we as humankind more alike than we would care to believe? These and many more existential themes are masterfully untangled in a film that wholeheartedly embraces its melancholic nature.

It's not one meant for frivolous watching but rather a treat for the sophisticated film connoisseur that's willing to delve a little deeper into the problematic topics tackled. With its top-class cast and well-written script, The Aftermath is a pure indulgence of the senses and an accomplished fulfilment of the craft.


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