Millennium Post

"Aftermath" | Poignant but flawed

 14 April 2017 3:45 PM GMT  |  Agencies

Poignant but flawed

Aftermath is a slow-moving, grim drama inspired by true events. It follows the lives of two men who fall into a deep depression after two planes collide in mid-air.

The duo: Roman Melnyk is a Ukrainian immigrant construction worker who loses his wife and daughter in the plane crash, and Jacob Bonanos, often referred to as Jake, is the air traffic controller who was on call during the accident.

After the accident, distraught and depressed, Roman abandons his job and spends his days watching his family videos and recollecting his happy days. All he wants by way of compensation is an apology from the person responsible for the accident.

On the other hand, Jacob suffers from guilt pangs and finds himself unable to lead a normal life. He retreats into a shell after the exterior of his house is painted with accusatory graffiti.

In his depression, he suffers a nervous breakdown and nearly serves his son raw eggs for breakfast. His wife Christina suggests that they spend some time apart. So, he moves to a new town under an assumed name, Pat Dealbert, and a new job profile. But then Roman and Jacob’s paths would soon intersect, is apparent from the very beginning.

Both actors convey grief and loss with plenty of raw emotions on display. Arnold is surprisingly convincing as the old man Roman in perfectly costumed tacky, tucked-in, loud print shirts and a weathered leather coat. With a stubble and moist eyes on the edge of tears and madness, he has never looked so good on screen. But on the emoting front, he is limited as an actor. Scoot McNairy as Jacob delivers a fantastic performance. He is aptly supported by Maggie Grace as his wife Christina. Their chemistry is palpable and you feel sorry for the family.

While the film manages to engage and invest in its characters as they head towards their respective fates, the real problem with “Aftermath” isn’t the acting or directing, it is the script.

The script hardly delves into the mind of its characters, particularly Roman’s, which makes some of his actions towards the end seem implausible and never lets the audience fully understand what really led up to his actions at the end. 

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