Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Review: After We Leave

Release date: February 21, 2020
Running time: 82 minutes
Starring: Brian Silverman, Clay Wilcox, Anslem Richardson

After We Leave follows a husband who is hunting for his estranged wife in order to reunite with her and leave a dying planet Earth.  In this world, the rich and powerful have already left Earth for a better life, and the rest of society is waiting around for the end or for the chance to join the rich.  When Jack (Silverman) finally gets his visa to leave Earth, he must hunt down the wife he abandoned years ago in order to make it in time.  But as he tries to find her, the sins of his past come back to haunt him. 

After We Leave is a low budget indie sci-fi film, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.  The film uses everything it can to craft a dystopian sci-fi drama without the big Hollywood effects or spectacle.  The sci-fi in this film is much more subtle: communications devices that are on your temple, DNA readers, and chips that can disable a person.  These allow the movie to feel like it is in the near future without showing a lot.  And the film likewise manages to depict a dying Earth without laying everything out for the viewer; it hints here and there but mostly highlights this by shooting in desolate areas.  Additionally, this film focuses on the characters, namely the main character Jack.  You get bits and pieces of his backstory throughout without too much being revealed.  I can see how this can be frustrating but it was nice to see a film that didn't hold the viewers hands.  And by focusing on the characters, After We Leave can really dig into their emotional journey, which is helped immensely by a very good score.  The music really helped set the tone for emotional scenes and gave the world a lot more life than you would expect from a low budget indie film. The final song has been stuck in my head for days after watching it!

However, After We Leave has some issues.  First and foremost, the ending is very unfulfilling.  It didn't sour me on the whole film, as some viewers have pointed out, but it really didn't make much sense given the entirety of the film.  And, probably because of the movie's budget, many of the action scenes are only shown as snippets.  So for a big scene, you might get a part of the end of it, or for a fight scene you might only see the beginning of it.  This is unfortunate as it does pull you back down to earth on the limitation's of this movie's budget.  And, the plot does seem to meander aimlessly at times.  But don't let these dissuade you from a really solid budget indie movie.  I liked the different take on a dystopian film, the fresh perspective, the focus on characters, and the amazing score.  The sensible shot choice and filming location really help to flesh out and modernize this film.  

After We Leave is a fresh first effort from writer / director Aleem Hossain, with a minimalist style, fresh perspective, and amazing score that elevates this film. 

Rent it

No comments:

Post a Comment