Aftersun: Fathers & Daughters

There are certain relationships that are sacred. One’s that we hold close to our hearts and intertwine with our souls. When examining them closely, we can come to understand the impact they have. In the 2022 film Aftersun, a father and daughters relationship is put into the spotlight while on their final vacation together. Paul Mescal and Frankie Corio play the father/daughter duo. The two actors have great on-screen chemistry. The film received massive amounts of praise upon release, including many different sources claiming it as the best movie of the year. While I wouldn’t agree, I believe it is worthy of praise. The backdrop and filming style makes it a visual pleasure. The beating heart of the film is reminiscent of 2017’s indie gem, The Florida Project. While I don’t think the Aftersun land as well, the two films tackle how a child sees their parents vs. who they actually are. 

Callam has taken his daughter Sophie on a luxurious vacation to the coast of Portugal. It is a chance for the two to reconnect as Callam and Sophie’s mother have separated. While on their trip, Sophie is able to observe her father. The layers he has built up begin to peel away. As she gets closer to him, Sophie realizes that the man she knows is much more complex than she realized. The final question left at the end is: how strong is their love for each other? While I do not see it as the most emotional film in recent years, it is very moving to see the evolution of the two characters told throughout the simple story. 

The story may not be incredibly complex, but it does not fail to entertain with its spectacular visuals and stellar performances. Mescal is incredibly convincing as the father of an 11-year-old. He teeters from caring to careless throughout, showcasing his excellent acting skills. Corio plays his daughter with ease. It’s almost as if they genuinely are related! I would recommend giving it a watch if you have the time. The scenes that are meant to be moving can get their message across with ease. Melancholic undertones assist the material, elevating the story to its best. I believe it could be better at communicating its more profound meaning of change and the effect we have on family members, but I am choosing to appreciate it for what it is. There are moments in which it is clear that everyone involved with the project is putting their all into making it great. Now, please have a great rest of your day, and I hope you are able to show your family the love they deserve.

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