Set in a time before Brexit, long before the Germans learned to speak English and kick Britain out of the EU, long before people exposed everything about themselves on the internet. In a time after the great war and the war after that, but before therapy helped people deal with tragedy and before Nespresso replaced tea in the English kitchen.
Now we've all seen plenty of war time films so it's quite intriguing to see a movie take on a different angle in the toil and tumble of post war Europe. Aftermath is a movie about rebuilding and recovering what has been lost, and with themes of compassion forgiveness and reconciliation it has plenty of ammo to bring you to tears time and time again.
Set in the ruins of Hamburg, just five months after World War Two the cinematography is outstanding with the best opening sequence I've seen in a film since Lord of War. The contrast between the bomb shelled buildings in the city to the safe haven of the snow topped manor is absolutely breathtaking. The home's heart is it's piano, a significant prop that forms part of the emotional veins that run through this movie.
Keira Knightley plays the lead role but not just as the centre of the ensuing love triangle, no Keira performs with the stage presence you'd expect from the most glamorous cinema star of our generation. I often wonder what she'd be like in other classic love stories like Rebecca, Titanic, or The Painted Veil but when she's able to select movies like this and make instant classics of her own it's no wonder she's got such box office appeal.
Keira Knightley fandom aside there is a wonderful cast in the film with each of the characters searching for something of their own, whether it's a lost mother figure, a post war wife, or a friendly führer replacement, every character leaves their heart on their sleeve trying to fill the void. In fact the depth of love is explored from more angles than a Hugh Grant movie marathon while we also experience the characters fears and grievances, which make this one of the most emotional packed movies you'll ever see.
Aftermath has a very powerful ending that I'm sure will have critics talking for weeks. For me it's an instant classic that I can't wait to watch again but if you're not a fan of the Keira Knightley genre it might not capture your imagination, which means you'll never really experience World War Two PTSD the way you want to. For those of you that adore the genre this movie comes easily recommended.