After (2022) Movie
A The Glorification of the Toxic Man
After It was launched in the year 2019 and is based on a novel series with a similar name. Anna Todd, the author of the novel, was a lover of the famous British boy band One Direction. The characters in this story are loosely based on the members of the boy band. The story also features Hardin Scott is based on the singer Harry Styles, the story also includes members of other bands as various characters.
There was a lot of discussion about the books when they first appeared through Wattpad in the early days of the series. The fan fiction series faced some criticism due to the portrayal of an unhealthy relationship. The novels depict two girls and a boy in a relationship that is chaotic, as they develop together, discover their sexuality, attempt to make a change in the love they have, and alter their lives in order so that they can live their lives in a “happily ever after”.
After tells The story of Theresa Young aka Tessa, a high school graduate who has to go to a different college. She is the daughter of a single mom who raised Tessa in her home after her father left her. Tessa is in a relationship with Noah and is enrolled in college, sharing the same hostel room as Steph. Tessa’s mother isn’t a fan of Steph and her peers as well, like Hardin.
Steph and her group of friends are completely different from Tessa and she has a tussle with Hardin at the time she meets him for the first time. Following Tessa finds herself in a shady wager among two of her boyfriend’s close friends, Hardin and Zed, Hardin begins to feel a connection to Tessa.
People who have seen the films over the years know of the fact that the After series is known for depicting the most toxic relationships to ever be created. There is the standard trope of betting on making the main character, who is a virgin, be in a relationship (or be a virgin, as in the novels) with/to the bad guy who is manipulating her.
With Hardin finding himself in love with Tessa due to her differing views regarding Literature as well as Tessa making a comeback in the “I can fix him” cliché, we discover an entire pool of toxic clichés that are praised in this film and the films that follow. From Hardin gawking at Tessa who is engaged, or Tessa changing her appearance while trying to be someone she’s not to get the interest of the boy she’s drawn to, the film is as intense as it could get.
Tessa is looking for the affection she didn’t receive when her father left her, but she also hopes to discover the wild side, in contrast to the way in which her mother taught her. Hardin however is just a British bad boy that is a toxic person to the heart. He is a tyrant when he isn’t getting it his way, and our damsel in distress is the victim often.
The performances in this film were average, to say the least, Hero Fines-Tiffin made his first big screen appearance after starring as a child Voldermort in the Harry Potter series. We also have Katherine Langford from 13 Reasons Why as well as fame’s famous sibling Josephine Langford appearing as the main character too.
After is a movie that promises fans a fresh love story to anticipate however the toxicity is overwhelming. Beginning Tessa and Hardin’s love story has turned some fans off of the sequels made available in recent years. With a weak plot and fairly average performances, After is a one-time movie at best. It’s a guilty pleasure for many in which sex dominates the narrative when common sensuality has left the scene.
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