In 1946 Rachael Morgan arrives in the ruins of Hamburg to be reunited with her husband, Lewis, who is a British colonel charged with rebuilding the shattered city. As they set off for their new home, Rachael is stunned to discover that Lewis has made an unexpected decision: They will be sharing the grand house with its previous owners, a German widower and his troubled daughter. In this charged atmosphere, enmity and grief give way to passion and betrayal.
Film synopsis :
As the Allies were determined no former Nazis were going to be in positions of responsibility, Walter was installed as Governor to Pinneburg, a district just west of the city of Hamburg.
He was given use of a local mansion, but instead of ordering the German owners to leave, instead opted to share the property with businessman Wilhelm Ladiges, his wife Erika, daughter Heike, seven, and sons Theo, 12 and Holger, five.
The Ladiges had the first floor and the Brooks the ground floor, but both families shared a kitchen in the basement.
|Directed by||James Kent|
|Based on||The Aftermath
by Rhidian Brook
|Music by||Martin Phipps|
|Edited by||Beverley Mills|
|Distributed by||Fox Searchlight Pictures|
There is a striking, butterscotch-gold silk dress that Keira Knightley wears in The Aftermath. Its neck is a halter, the straps making an X at her throat. It dips seductively low in the back; shortly, its front will be speckled with a fine spray of blood.
In the same way that Knightley wore the hell out of the vibrant emerald gown Jacqueline Durran designed for 2007’s Atonement, she makes an impression here in writer-director James Kent’s handsome second feature, set in Hamburg circa 1945, in the aftermath of the Allied victory . It feels wrong to reduce the entirely capable Knightley to her costume, especially given her nimble and lively turns in recent films Colette and the forthcoming Official Secrets, but her performance here is tic-y, affected, prim, only really coming alive in the steamy love scenes with Alexander Skarsgård’s hunky German architect (not grown man has ever looked as good in a cardigan).
Knightley plays grieving mother Rachael, who is struggling to settle into the mansion she and her husband, Captain Lewis Morgan (Jason Clarke), have requisitioned, uncomfortable sharing it with its original German owner, Stefan Lubert (Skarsgård) and his teenage daughter, Freda , (Flora Thiemann). Though its plotting becomes soapy somewhere in the first act, things eventually build to a satisfying emotional finale. Still, something is missing; the tone frustrates, caught awkwardly between lusty, full-out melodrama and thin period drama.
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