Early in Charlotte Wells’ feature directorial debut, 11-year-old Sophie (Frankie Corio) tells her young father, Callum (Paul Mezcal), that she’s glad they shared “the same sky.” Both are soaking up pocketfuls of Turkish sun on her week-long vacation, and it should be time for Calum to get to know her daughter up close. When she asks what that means, she says that even though they live in different places, they are somehow connected because they live under the same sky. It’s a small, molecular observation, but washed down by Aftersun’s carefully constructed narrative structure, it poses the serious problem of finding a way back to her loved ones.
Streaming now on Mubi India, Aftersun consists of these small, languid moments of observation and memory as we invite you to take a peek into the lives of two people. You can watch the story unfold through the eyes of Sophie, who is on a week-long vacation in Turkey where her father can barely afford. She chooses to let go of the facts and spends her time filming her experiences with a video camera. The moments of gentle intimacy between father and daughter, like applying sunscreen, getting ready to go scuba diving, or when normal conversation becomes a smokescreen of something disproportionately sad. The trip is a reminder of what happened on Sophie’s eleventh birthday as an adult. When she catches a glimpse of her dancing alone in a nightclub, her pressing desire to ask her father for her answers resonates.
In Calum, Paul Mezcal builds a character that feels like a distant relationship to Connell’s groundbreaking debut in 2020’s Normal People.Unlike Connell, take a closer look at Calum’s backstory I can not do it. It’s alluded to in moments of quiet despair – when Callum says he can’t imagine seeing himself at 40. Or in quietly ruminating with Sophie that she can choose to be who she wants to be. How to settle in. Mescal builds her Calum with his little displays of affection and distance. It’s a discreet, challenging performance that requires attention. But Aftersun’s real guide star is newcomer Frankie Corio as Sophie, and her innocence and curiosity as a precocious child with a glimpse into the wilds of adulthood are presented with great care and understanding. Together, their chemistry feels undeniably real and incredible.
Charlotte Wells builds these moments disguised as memories, culminating in a crushing crescendo in Aftersun’s final moments. Raw, haunting and devastatingly personal – these few minutes in the dark aftersun are unlike anything else you’ll encounter onscreen. A small discrepancy in Sophie’s personal memories that reaches out on her long-standing quest to understand the. cannot be held.
A big endorsement of Aftersun is the extent to which writer-director Charlotte Wells can trust audiences to fill in the details. feels like a sneaky trick to evoke additional resonances, and Aftersun understands that memories are temporary evaporation tricks. But Wells also highlights the limitations with which these questions can be asked. Just as you get too close to finding her answers and solving tricks, she throws you off balance.This is a movie of immense humanity and intelligence, making Wells a remarkable She has one of the most compelling voices. She won’t be able to hear David Bowie and Queen’s Under Pressure in the same way.
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