Aftersun ★★★★★

A purgatorial veil drapes Aftersun—that enigmatic weightlessness you ascend to when losing yourself to long lost memories. The ones that aren’t quite all there anymore and you see yourself in the third person. Some parts nostalgia and other parts, most times unknowingly, fantasy. 

It’s puzzling, really. But something I think we all know so well. I’m having trouble comprehending how Charlotte Wells and her crew managed to capture that feeling—that complex and uniquely human feeling—and bring it to life.

I’ve been struggling to put the right words together. I could point out that the dreamlike camerawork left a lasting impression, and that the minimal use of music was effective; I could give my flowers to the brilliant duo of Paul Mescal and Frankie Corio.

But Aftersun reached me on a deeply personal level for accessing that weightless feeling, one that I know like the back of my hand. One that I, admittedly, overindulge in more than I should. One that turns into wallowing and sulking.

It also reached me because I saw so much of myself in Calum. I don’t say that proudly. Our first few moments with him, I already knew. I think there’s a way this film is structured—to have sort of a slow burning build and revelation—but I felt it in my stomach right away. It dropped and turned, and I physically turned in my chair as well.

And it hurt. My shoulders felt like concrete; it felt like the world was sitting on my chest. To see someone so much like myself on the silver screen and not be able to say anything, grab them by the collar and shake them and tell them everything will probably be okay.

But it was also liberating; it made me feel less alone in a fight that’s meant to make you feel a suffocating isolation. I’m glad stories like this are being told.

None of this makes sense. I don’t know who this is for, I just needed to spew it all out.

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