- Gareth Crook
Aftersun (2022) - 9/10
Despite the hype around Aftersun. I know nothing going in. I’m good at burying my head in the sand. We’re introduced to a young father and his daughter, spending time together on holiday in Turkey. Sunshine and sea. It’s all very normal feeling. Calum (Paul Mescal) is a good dad. Doting. Sophie (Frankie Corio), growing up, her perspective in flux. Maybe it’s the quieter moments, but I’ve a sense of unease. Maybe it’s the lingering shots. Maybe it’s the dark strings that creep in. Sophie has a lot of questions and a lot on her mind, perhaps they both do. Something is being left unsaid. Herein is the problem with writing about films like this. It’s all about the feeling given off. It’s a rare trick to pull off and marks this out as something a bit special. I’m also reluctant to spoil this for anyone who’s not yet watched it. Mescal and Corio are both brilliant at portraying this. Dialogue is often sparse and it’s the things left unsaid that weigh the heaviest. With a DV camera, Sophie records parts of the holiday. Standard blurred, badly framed memories. Clips of both of them sharing time… until Sophie who’s just turned 11, asks her Dad “When you were 11, what did you think you would be doing now”. Its pivotal question innocently posed. Aftersun is a beautiful piece of filmmaking. Wonderfully shot, perfectly cast, with the sort of narrative that envelopes you. I love that this kind of film kind not only garner critical acclaim but also find an audience. It gives me faith in the future of film… and people. “Did you have a good holiday?”, “Yeah, wish we could stay for longer”. That’s how I feel about this film.