There’s absolutely no doubt – surely – that the very best films stand absolutely alone.
They don’t start with a rather clonking summary of the previous one; nor do they end with a desperately transparent telegraphing of the next one.
However, After We Collided, the sequel to After, is a film which oddly stays with you – if only because you’ll be wondering for ages what on earth Tessa Young (Josephine Langford) could ever see, or has ever seen, in bad boy Hardin Scott (Hero Fiennes Tiffin).
Part of the problem is that Hardin’s estuary English stands out like a sore thumb in this US setting. He jars. Everything about him jars.
Is he simply playing a wooden character? Or is it the acting that’s at fault? Certainly, the more emotional he gets, the less believable he becomes.
At least it seems that way because opposite him Langford is a superb actress, conveying a complex character with a naturalness and a lightness of touch which mean you never see the strings being pulled – not something you could say for Tiffin’s Hardin.
Tessa never loses plausibility while Hardin never quite seems to find it – which results in a mismatch which it’s difficult to find yourself hoping will be resolved. No, you really wouldn’t want to see Tessa long term with Hardin.
He doesn’t even come to life when halfway through the film he starts having night terrors, accompanied by flashbacks in which it’s difficult to work out quite what’s happening. He’s from a broken, abusive background – but Tessa clearly hasn’t exactly had it easy either.
It seems that the next film, presumably to be called After We Got Through This One, will explore the reasons why.
And it will probably be worth watching. You get the feeling that Josephine Langford is the kind of actress that will always be worth watching…
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