The Here After Film Review :
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An angry young man struggles to escape the shadow of his violent past in this somber Scandi-Polish drama.
A chewy blend of Swedish and Polish ingredients, The Here After was never likely to be a fun frolic on a sun-kissed Baltic beach. Offering a non-judgmental, broadly sympathetic, psychological portrait of a Swedish juvenile delinquent living with the crushing guilt of a violent crime, this modestly compelling glumfest premiered in the Quinzaine sidebar at the Cannes Film Festival.
Partly modeled on real case studies, Warsaw-based Swedish auteur Magnus Von Horn’s feature debut is backed by Lars Von Trier’s Zentropa company and boasts handsome cinematography by Lukasz Zal, who recently clothed Polish Oscar-winner Ida in 50 ravishing shades of gray. Somber and stern, The Here After is vintage Scandi festival fare, though the star billing of chart-topping pop singer Ulrik Munther may help its commercial prospects domestically.
Baby-faced Munther makes a creditable screen debut as John, a sullen teenage loner checking out of a secure institution with his father Martin (Mats Blomgren) as the film opens. Tension starts to crackle between the fractious pair on the long drive back to the remote family farm, which sits at the head of a muddy backwoods track. But John’s homecoming is far from prodigal. Friction soon flares up between son, father and grandfather. On a visit to a hardware store in the nearby small town, a young woman suddenly and violently attacks John. Later, on returning to school, he is frozen out and threatened by former classmates.
When John returns home to his father after serving time in prison, he is looking forward to starting his life afresh. However, in the local community his crime is neither forgotten nor forgiven.
A chewy blend of Swedish and Polish ingredients, The Here After was never likely to be a fun frolic, Efterskalv (2015) When John returns home to his father after serving time in prison, he is looking forward to starting his life afresh. However, in the local community his crime is neither forgotten nor forgiven.