Set in postwar Germany in 1946, Rachael Morgan (Keira Knightley) arrives in the ruins of Hamburg in the bitter winter, to be reunited with her husband Lewis (Jason Clarke), a British colonel charged with rebuilding the shattered city. But as they set off for their new home, Rachael is stunned to discover that Lewis has made an unexpected decision: They will be sharing the grand house with its previous owners, a German widower (Alexander Skarsgård) and his troubled daughter. In this charged atmosphere, enmity and grief give way to passion and betrayal.Written by
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Better than Kent's previous film Testament Of Youth
While the director has strong kitsch tendencies he manages to include some genuine feeling and drama in The Aftermath. The plot is set in Hamburg after WWII and as an historical record recreates some interesting social dynamics: the wealthy elite Germans who lived in luxury throughout the war; the starving survivors of the war and firebombing of their city; the resentful loyal Nazis still bent on sabotaging the British occupiers; and the British military themselves, some unmercifully brutal to the Germans, while others try to find some understanding and feel some empathy for the defeated populace. The central characters are all dealing with their war losses and personal crises stemming from them. Nevertheless, the director insists on bathing everything in picturesque glamor, repeatedly undermining the film's serious themes. One wonders how Keira Knightly's character managed to fit her dozens of stylish outfits and formal gowns in that little suitcase!
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