After, the new adolescent phenomenon based on the successful novels published in Wattpad comes to the screens distancing itself from the book with the approval of its author.
Why do romantic novels triumph among teenagers? This same question we asked during the After interview to the protagonists of the film and its author and her answer was simple: "Because it is a credible story that can happen to anyone." Starting from this premise, we can understand the success of the novel and that the film comes with a great promotion and intends to follow the trail of adaptations that have swept the box office in recent years. Unfortunately, these stories and their way of doing them are already well defined and After is an example of that. As an adaptation, it moves away in some important aspects of the novel, as seen in the change of some characters and that the relationship between the protagonists does not reach the point of being considered toxic, only a relationship between very different people.
But here we are to talk about the film, regardless of whether or not it is faithful to its written counterpart and, as such, After does not mean anything new for the genre or allow us to deepen a relationship from which we could learn a lot. As we have mentioned, the format is already very defined and the film is limited to building a story that we have seen many times. In this sense, the beginning is the weakest part of the film, since it violates the 2nd fundamental rule of cinema for whom this writes; "Show, don't count." During the approach, we see how Tessa is the typical mom girl, her new group of friends is the typical one that will take her on the “bad road” and the situations are the currents in which her schemes will be opposed to those of her surroundings, but all of it had singing clichés that make this first section very artificial.
Fortunately, once the protagonists begin to interact (in an initial literary discussion in class that is masterful) the film finds its way and thereafter the story flows naturally and you let yourself go until it ends. And although this trip does not bring anything new or take advantage of to try to be different from the stories we already know, it is followed with interest and joy, so the film fulfills its mission in this sense and thus “assures” the approval of the big audience.
Certainly the cast is the best of the movie. An already prototypical story has to be credible if the characters that develop it are too. And in this case, the works of Hero Fiennes Tiffin and especially Josephine Langford get it based on good. Although Hardin's character may feel somewhat monotonous, Fiennes Tiffin manages to give him that touch of carrying a dark background on his back and Josephine seems 100% a girl who has never broken a plate in her life and then begins to evolve as she experiences new things. The rest of the secondary ones fulfill their mission without much more to highlight.
As mentioned, the script is artificial at the beginning but then finds its tone and develops in a way that becomes enjoyable and understandable. Punctuating that scene with literary discussion that has a great exercise of subtext and that is clearly the most interesting and profound thing that this script offers, the rest is in line with the rules of romantic history without further pretensions.
An entertaining and simple film with good interpretations that opts for the safe option to try to be a success among young audiences.