Aftermath is a revenge drama whose lack of pace will bore you to death.
1.8 out of 5 (Average)
| Vighnesh Menon (NOWRUNNING)
If Aftermath has one word that encompasses its narrative, it is 'trauma'. Trauma runs in Aftermath's figurative veins, through its characters and its atmosphere. Trauma is also the only thing that is well articulated in an otherwise half-hearted effort at filmmaking.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, as Roman Melnyk, and Scoot McNairy, as Jacob Bonanos, are at the forefront of the film, portraying two deeply traumatized individuals at opposite ends of a mid-air collision based on actual events. Roman and Jacob go through extended melancholy and loneliness, in what can be called the "aftermath" of the disaster. The psychologically ambiguous Roman wants justice to be served. Jacob, the air traffic controller who unfortunately had a key role in the catastrophe, just wants to get over his past. They are going through different emotions but the same driving force, which is pain. Aftermath strikes gold only while playing with this bridge between its two leads.
Aftermath is rather modest in its production. The visuals, music and editing- which has too many jump cuts for no good reason- are unmotivated and underutilized. Rubbing salt to the wound is the super-slow storytelling which gets no assistance from the empty plot. The gripping real-life account is fascinating as a standalone incident, but dramatising it for a movie asks for filling the gaps between the initial event and the final, fateful act. These gaps, or, the aftermath, are not presented with enough intensity because they don't qualify for feature-length attention in the first place. Then, the performances become the only thing to look forward to, which again, are inconsistent at best. McNairy gives the performance of a lifetime. He brings so much sympathy and gravitas to the disturbed Jake by virtue of his nuanced acting. But Schwarzenegger, on the other hand, looks either lethargic or awkward when he is supposed to emote a lot for his grieving character. It is pleasing to see the yesteryear action star in a dramatic role and that's about it.
In the end, Aftermath begs the question: Do all true stories have to be made into films? Some are just better left alone as raw documentations because that is when they connect most with their audience.
Critic: Vighnesh Menon
1.8 out of 5 (Average)
WHAT THE RATINGS MEAN:
0.0 - 1.4 : Poor
1.5 - 1.7: Poor, A Few Good Parts
1.8 - 2.3: Average
2.4 - 2.9: Fairly Good
3.0 - 3.4: Good
3.5 - 5.0: Very Good