Aftersun movie review: Charlotte Wells’ directorial debut is a heartbreaking masterpiece

Aftersun is a breath-taking directorial debut of Charlotte Wells, where a father-daughter duet starring Paul Mescal and Frankie Corio develops into a quest for unanswered questions about fatherhood and identity.

Aftersun is Charlotte Wells’s first feature film as a filmmaker. In the opening scene, 11-year-old Sophie explains to her father, Calum (Paul Mescal), that it’s fortunate that they share a “similar sky.” During their week-long holiday in Turkey, Calum and his daughter are both enjoying the weather, and Calum is trying to get to know her better.

Aftersun movie review: Charlotte Wells’ directorial debut is a heartbreaking masterpiece
Aftersun movie review: Charlotte Wells’ directorial debut is a heartbreaking masterpiece

When she says the same sky connects them, he inquires about what she means. She explains that it’s a little insight, but it raises a significant issue in the movie Aftersun, available on Mubi India, about finding a way back to loved ones. Sophie tells the story as she travels to Turkey with her struggling father, recording her experience on a camcorder despite not receiving the requested hotel room. Despite her father’s distress, she has some influence over him.

We gather that Sophie, now an adult, is using her vacation to reflect on what happened on her 11th birthday. Snippets of her dancing alone in a club reflect her desperate need to talk to her father about what happened. Paul Mescal creates a character with Calum, who resembles Connell, the lead in Normal People from 2020, though distantly. In contrast to Connell, we need to be provided with more information about Calum’s past.

Wells emerges as one of the most intriguing voices to watch in this film because of her tremendous empathy and insight. How you listen to “Under Pressure” by David Bowie and Queen will never be the same.

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