Critic Reviews



Based on 33 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
The Aftermath works best when looking at the bewildered people who have been left behind, literally, to pick up the pieces. The savage loss of family members still reverberates through empty rooms and ruined landscapes.
The result is attractive and diverting, as any well-appointed film starring these actors in mouthwatering period finery could hardly fail to be — though for a story about people rebuilding their lives through grievous personal loss and moral torment, it’s hard not to wonder if its vast reserves of enviable knitwear are counting for more than they should.
The bones of the story have been played a million times, but a talented and committed cast make this swoonsome rather than samey.
None of the pretty imagery or impassioned lovemaking can break free of a mopey old formula that sits on every scene with the same schematic quality that makes its weary setting so familiar from the start.
The Aftermath is simply another period melodrama that knows exactly what it is, and that just isn’t quite enough, especially when one considers the leading star’s career oeuvre.
Where it might have been an old-fashioned melodrama with credible historical appeal, instead it suggests an old-school celluloid epic whose print has lost a reel or two.
It is more of a holiday romance and the well-intentioned performances lead nowhere.
Unlike certain past ventures of Knightley’s, there’s little or no sense of us being given a Big Performance, and she’s often rather moving as a result.
The film’s threads of personal loss and cultural friction are all but lost amid the tawdry romantic entanglements.
Director James Kent’s adaptation of Rhidian Brook’s 2014 novel — about a ghost-like Germany, a broken British marriage, and the healing powers of a passionate thaw — has the unfortunate quality of a hot-blooded soap grafted onto rather than merged with a historical-political drama.

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