After We Collided (film) is the second instalment of the “After” series. The series is based on the novels of Anna Todd of the same name. After We Collided (film) continues from where it left in 2019, with Hardin and Tessa Young parting ways due to certain issues. While Jenny Cage directed “After”, this one has been directed by Roger Kumble. It stars Hero Tiffin and Josephine Langford in the roles of Hardin and Tessa respectively. Dylan Sprouse comes as a surprise in a supporting role, bringing that same conceited and patronizing demeanour that we were once so fond of when he played Zack Martin in a popular Disney show.
The Story (Without Spoilers)
“Resentments destroy you“, is something that Hardin’s mom often tells him. Hardin and Tessa have separated ways due to an event that Tessa considers big deceit. She feels that deceits destroy any relationship.
“We were supposed to be different” is a line that is never spoken or said overtly but every girl wants their relationship to be like a fairytale, to be different from the rest, to be like that fantasy that she has only read about, till now. She wants to dream with her eyes open. She wants to live her dream with the unconventional clothes she jas made for herself. She wants to prove that she was right and the world so wrong. Tessa always knew somewhere deep down that she was playing in deep waters but she thought she could tame a wildfire.
When the curtains of this “Cinderella Syndrome” are removed then the light that comes in is often unbearable. A bitter truth takes the place of all the reverie.
“Entire world is a memorandum that she did exist and that I have lost her”, says Hardin.
Tessa has started working in Vance publications and has learnt to resist the temptation of calling Hardin. She is clearly not over him. Tessa becomes erratic, starts acting on impulse, something which she had never done. There is a state of emotional perplexity which she is experiencing and she hopes to come out of it and gather her broken pieces.
Does it Live up to the Philosophy??
After We Collided (film) promises to unravel philosophies and makes a claim about how the narrative’s credo will act as a tool in doing so. But they are false claims. Neither it has the emotional profundity of a fault in our stars or the passion and addiction of a Fifty Shades.
The romance feels naive and fickle most of the times. The emotions never seep in. They don’t stay with you after the film gets over. Maybe you will hallucinate into a dream sequence but that too with the aid of your own imagination. The whole film is like an honest confession. It is like an earnest confession. But the mere presence of a confession is evidence of a sin already committed. The rationale for most of the events is just blatantly convenient. The action and reaction are never equal and opposite. The most emotional sequences also don’t leave an impression. The moods change so rapidly that you question the credibility of the lovers. I agree that the characters are shown to be exploring their way out of a messy cul de dac, but it doesn’t come out like that always. Their mercurial approach often makes you question their seriousness. The film quotes great books and authors and often dwells into the romantic narration. But the characters, screenplay and the dialogues never lives up to that level of insight and philosophy that the film proclaims to adhere to. In the end, the poetic approach seems like a marketing gimmick when the product doesn’t even half of what was promised.
The film no doubt is going to be a sensation among teenagers. It has all the elements to make them envious of the very world in which Tessa and Hardin live. A charming boy and an angelic girl fall in love. They amble smoothly over the hurdles of life and create a vanilla world for themselves. Problems seem to solve themselves and knots untie on their own. This sort of narrative may be far away from any logic or realism but it does appeal to an age where the hormones overpower your prudence and decision making.
The lovemaking sequences are no doubt sensual and beautifully filmed. But they leave more impact when you watch them without context, like a video clip, only because you weave your expectations around it.
The problem is not that After We Collided (film) has not much to offer, but in it is being pretentious. It pretends to be something else. Something which it miserably fails to achieve. I would have been utterly satisfied with the result if the film accepted to be a commercial romantic entertainer. But it doesn’t and that’s where all the problem lies.
Streaming on Netflix, After We Collided (film) is about those several moments in our life that defines us, but lacks the depth and gravitas, which prevents you from visiting those moments again.
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