A fanfiction about One Direction lead singer Harry Styles became a bestseller and now a tame teen romance that still has a concept of physicality. We will reveal in our review whether this works well AFTER (2019).
The Plot Summary
First-year student Tessa Young (Josephine Langford) is smart, pretty, well-behaved and has a shy relationship with her childhood friend Noah (Dylan Arnold). Her single mother Carol (Selma Blair) is proud but also worried because Tessa was put in a room in the student dormitory with the party girl Steph (Khadijha Red Thunder), who has been studying for a long time. While Carol is racking her brains about whether Steph will spoil her daughter, a completely different person is shaking up the wallflower’s life: the outrageous and outrageously good-looking Brit Hardin Scott (Hero Fiennes-Tiffin), who Tessa is in English class with his cheeky and snotty attitude attitude infuriates. And yet Tessa feels an inexplicable attraction to the enigmatic bad guy…
Movie explanation of the ending
It is now part of pop culture common knowledge: The “Fifty Shades of Gray” series began as erotic “Twilight” fan fiction, which was separated from its original for the purpose of commercialization due to its great online success. This origin story largely coincides with the creation of the “After” novel series, the first part of which “After” has now been adapted for the cinema: Anna Todd published the first in 2013 on the online platform known primarily for its huge array of fan fiction Chapter for “A Harry Styles Fan Fiction,” a story in which a country girl meets One Direction lead singer Harry Styles during her first semester of college and is seduced by him. Todd struck a chord with Wattpad users and was overwhelmed with positive comments. The fanfiction became more and more popular with each new chapter, was given the original title “After” and became an absolute hit. “After” has been read over 1.5 billion times on Wattpad. And the book version, in which no longer Harry Styles but the completely fictional Hardin Scott appears as a seduction on two legs, was also a huge success. United Kingdom is one of the largest markets for “After”, as the erotic teen romance was titled in this country – and so it is not surprising that in United Kingdom it is not a small distributor who is releasing the cinema adaptation of the material (like practically everywhere else), but Constantin Film .
The good student Tessa (Josephine Langford) loves to read.
However, it remains to be seen whether the distributor will be a big success, because the “After” film is not the spicy excursion into erotic cinema that the poster based on “9 ½ Weeks” suggests. Instead, it is a shy teen love film in terms of what is shown, but still deals with the physicality of the first sexual relationship. Jenny Gage’s directorial work is therefore aimed at a narrow target audience – it will be too tame for older teenagers, while an audience that is too young will be bored due to a lack of identification. But Gage has gone to great lengths for her small core target group. In her scenes with little dialogue, Gage shows in a detail rarely seen in Hollywood cinema how the sensual and sexual experiences of Tessa, who was still completely inexperienced at the beginning of her college years, gradually change. While at the beginning she shys away whenever a passionate kiss is suggested, even though her lips are already trembling, later she is a little more bold and is no longer the only one who reacts (and slows everything down).
“After” quite plausibly shows non-verbal progress in how this pubescent and head-over-heels-in-love, but also cautious and virginal first-year student deals with her desire: While they kiss in their underwear after several meetings, she becomes more assertive – but then before it happens becomes too serious, she lies down next to him, snuggles up to him and looks at him glowingly. In a genre where first experiences of this kind usually either result in quick camera shots or, alternatively, are accompanied by an upbeat pop or rock song and present themselves as a hectic affair, it’s nice to see a slower, more sophisticated one that speaks volumes about the characters See progression. Although Gage and cinematographers Tom Betterton and Adam Silver stage the lovers in advantageous lighting, with a cozy shadow, through which strong light accents fight their way to caress the contours and the pore-deep clear skin of the actors, all of this remains in the visual language gentle: Gage shows very little skin, leaving a lot to the imagination of the (potentially) knowing audience, for example when Hardin’s hand slowly moves from Tessa’s stomach towards the top pelvic bone after swimming. Even then, Gage cuts away early, to Tessa’s joyful face.
Hero Fiennes Tiffin as bad boy Hardin Scott.
If you want to be a bit polemical, you could easily argue that “After” could have an even lower FSK rating than a twelve, since Gage’s production relies entirely on the audience imagining what could happen right now – completely innocent minds could You can easily go from just cuddling and tickling sessions. But as shy as “After” may be staged, it is by no means naive. Among other things, he practices what hundreds of teen romances before him did not practice: safe sex – even if the word “condom” is not mentioned and the condom package that is opened is only recognized as such because of how little Gage shows of it , if you know what these packs usually look like. Nevertheless: the exemplary thought counts, and it proves that a bit of reality in no way destroys the cinematic-romantic fantasy. However, “After” fails in other areas when it comes to credibility: the supporting characters are extremely crudely drawn, be it Tessa’s sloppy and hyper-boring boyfriend Noah, the caricature-like college party animal Steph, or her gruff circle of friends who converse in artificial dialogues. Hardin Scott also often speaks in wooden, exaggerated sentences, which is made more difficult by the fact that Fiennes-Tiffin is an unconvincing mime who forces even cheeky, tongue-in-cheek dialogue out of himself with stupid straightforwardness.
Therefore, Josephine Langford, the sister of “Dead Girls Don’t Lie” discovery Katherine Langford, has to almost single-handedly sell Tessa’s relationship with Hardin, which oscillates between attractive fascination and repulsive contradiction. And she even succeeds! Langford has an impressive, natural screen presence, easily conveying the sweet innocence of her role as well as her frustration with Hardin’s bad-boy attitude and her hormonal excitement whenever he charms her. Not least thanks to Langford’s engaging performance, we almost want to hope that “After” will be successful despite its weaknesses – we are secretly already dreaming of a similar quality curve to that of the “Fifty Shades of Grey” films, which began shamefully and ended nicely. And if “After” does stand on its own, at least the film has a more concise ending than some other unsuccessful franchise starters.
Noah (Dylan Arnold) and Tessa have been friends and a couple since childhood.
Conclusion: Shy tingling, instead of erotic explicitness: The teen romance “After” is more harmless than the marketing suggests, and also has to contend with coarse dialogue. But Josephine Langford’s acting and Gage’s staging of the word-poor passages still make this bestselling adaptation worth seeing for its core target group.
“After” can be seen in USA cinemas nationwide from April 11th.