A beautiful, bookishly affectionate teen romance
With the pleasant years of movie premieres, it’s becoming more and more apparent to me the influence of our own perceptions on our appreciation of cinema. From a momentary mood of pleasant gusto to a seasonal crush on spring. And bringing the thought closer to AFTER, ‘good’ or ‘bad’ here will be even more dictated by your worldview than in the case of more obvious blockbuster premieres like the upcoming ‘Avengers’. Disdainfully expecting to see teen romance – you’ll walk out of the movie theater with a sourly bitter face. Excitedly awaited the movie based on the trailer and have already ordered the source book – come out with a nice aftertaste of fresh ideas.
After can’t get called ’50 Shades of Grey’ with a PG13 rating. All the scenes of intimacy or hints of it are shot almost as discreetly as the conversations in the novels, which the main characters quote. My own experience reading Bronte and Austen helped translate the obvious and not-so-obvious allusions into cinematic language. Even the scenes "♪ crazy ♪", in double quotation marks, college student parties are presented in a very tolerant, gentle, polite way. The story, which is a big plus, doesn’t play the permissiveness card of adolescence. Being based on the book, the first in the series, the film is bribed by this very bookish slowness. The more so because we’re due for a sequel and the fuse of conflict and emotion shouldn’t have been used up during the first weeks of Hardin and Tessa’s relationship.
After the first hour, the film leaves us with less and less surroundings and distracting themes from the main characters. A story is launched by minor characters, but, as befits them, they quickly fade into the shadows… The plot narrows down to chemistry between the two main characters without sputtering – such romantic film essentialism. A cozy lake with a wooden pier. A game of guess the phrase by the touch of your back. Reading romance classics in a closed library. Add some quality camerawork and a play with light, and you get an almost approximate story about love at 18, the kind of love most girls dream about. And if there were any questions left for the main male character’s acting, in anticipation of the second installment, Tessa is disposable. One wants to believe in her mannered restraint, and through her prism and the story as a whole. How you choose to feel is entirely up to you.