Aftermath (2017)

April 3rd, 2017
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Elliott Lester | Javier Guillon | Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maggie Grace, Kevin Zegers, Scoot McNairy | 94min | US | Psychological Drama

Elliott Lester cut his teeth on commercials and his stylish cinematography is the best thing about this episodic and moodily opaque psychological drama that reflects on themes of bereavement and letting go of the past.

The film is based on the real-life Überlingen mid-air collision and the aftermath to the tragedy that impacts of the lives of those left behind. Arnold Schwarzenegger is powerfully grim as Russian architect Vitaly Kaloyev, whose wife and daughter are lost in the crash. He holds Danish air traffic controller Jake Bonanos (Peter Nielsen) responsible for the death of his family. Nielsen remains distraught and sinks into a depression that ultimately destroys his career and his marriage. But Kaloyev cannot let go and tracks Nielsen down determined to make him pay for the error.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is impressive here as a strong and smouldering type who whose latent rage eventually finds a bruising outlet. The denouement is quietly shocking but somehow anticlimactic in the scheme of things. AFTERMATH is more a study about a man’s lack of philosophy in managing grief and tragedy than a gripping thriller, but Lester provides Schwarzenegger with a vehicle to show off his acting potential away from his usual blockbuster roles. As a story portraying actual events AFTERMATH feels decidedly slim. MT


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