Welcome back, I hope you are all well and in the mood for a good ol’ period drama review today!
Now…..as you all know I am a massive period drama nerd, so big I would go as far to say that I couldn’t survive without them. I love everything about them, from the gorgeous costumes and people, to the period setting and the historical backdrops in which they are set. So when I saw the trailer to The Aftermath last year on YouTube, I knew there was NO WAY I could miss seeing it – Kiera Knightley + Post-War setting = perfection. Kiera is of course, the QUEEN of the period dramas. Starring in the likes of Pride and Prejudice (my all time favourite movie) The Duchess, Anna Karenina, The Imitation Game just to name a few, you can almost certainly guarantee that if she is in it… it will be amazing and trust me, it did not disappoint.
The story is set in Post-War Hamburg, just a few months after the end of the Second World War, and focuses around Rachel Morgan, a young grieving Mother who lost her only son to the bombings in London during the War. Rachel travels to Germany to meet with her Husband Lewis, a Colonel who was stationed in Hamburg with the task to help rebuild the devastated City following the intense bombing campaign on the City in 1943 by the Allies (Operation Gommorah)
Understandably, Rachel starts the movie with a strong resentment towards the German people, and blames them for the death of her Son…which makes for a rather awkward first half of the movie when she and her husband move into a grand house belonging to a German Architect named Stefan, and his daughter before it was requisitioned by the British Army. The movie continues to play out as the story of star-crossed lovers, as Rachel feels neglected by her husband, the empathy and kindness shown by Stefan (who is widowed) is more than welcomed by Rachel, and the two begin an intense and passionate love affair. I don’t want to go into toooo much depth because I really dont want to spoil the plot and especially the ending, GOSH did it have me on the edge of my seat! I guess you’ll just have to see it for yourselves to find out what happens!
What I loved about the movie is how is how expertly it emulated the reality of Post-War Anglo-German relations. Rachel (the personification of Britain) starts out hating the Germans, blaming and accusing Stefan (Germany) of his people all being Nazi’s, murders, and butcherers and, perhaps most importantly for her character, for the death of her son. However, seeing the devastation in Hamburg she soon learns with time (and even quotes) that ‘No one really wins in War’ and that atrocities experienced were two-fold.
Usually, I wouldn’t really be one to write reviews, but I enjoyed this movie so much I knew I had to share it with you all. Although to many, I know they will just sigh and say ‘ugh not another period love story with that woman in’, and to that I challenge thee to a DUEL! For if you know your history, you will be able to read between the lines, and see the expert shadowing of political and social tensions in the Post-War World, and also an intense look at the complexities of grief and loss for not only loved ones, but also for the Countries and places destroyed by War.
It’s also worth noting… that I loved the film so much I bought the novel as soon as I got out of the cinema, so happy reading to me!
GO. AND. SEE. IT. And if you do, or have already see or read the book, then please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!
Until next time,