After Love: Another Review
Mary Hussain (Joanna Scanlan) has been married to her husband, Ahmed (Nasser Memarzia) for many years and they stayed close right until the end. When Ahmed dies, it turns Mary’s life upside down and even more so when she finds out about the details about her husband’s secret life. It turns out that Ahmed had a relationship with a woman named Geneviève (Nathalie Richard) in France and this betrayal forces Mary to seek answers to how her husband could do such a thing.
So, going to France, Mary’s determined to settle things and to find out everything that’s been kept from her, and then she meets Geneviève herself. As Mary turns up at her front door, Geneviève makes an immediate assumption about her that she’s been sent to help with the housekeeping – and Mary lets her believe that.
Possibly the worst thing a person can do in her situation, driven by grief and with her judgment clouded, Mary believes it’s the only thing she can do to can uncover the truth.
After Love is an award-winning drama written and directed by Aleem Khan. A story which could have been played very differently due to its high concept, After Love instead feels more nuanced and real with Scanlan giving a great performance in the central role.
Although a relatively short film that never outstays its welcome, After Love feels like a film filled with the little quiet moments that occur when your life has been changed forever. Joanna Scanlan’s performance is never better than in those moments as well, showing all the emotion and repressed mourning that she holds inside. Emotions that are withheld so that she can discover more about her husband.
Plot wise, After Love may be a more predictable affair than it would admit to being. Although something that could have been played as a broad comedy like Mrs. Doubtfire ends up being far more touching than an audience may expect.
Held up until the very last minute, After Love is a universal story of what we would do after a loved one leaves us, and it may leave you feeling grateful for the ones that are still here.
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