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There are formulas that seem inexhaustible and a sample of this is the success of the best-seller adaptations for teenagers, as is the case of After. It is understandable that these types of productions occupy a plot of the weekly box office since all audiences are attracted to certain products, the problem lies in what and how it is transmitted.
Although we recently commented that there was hope in the latest Netflix fictions focused on a young audience, there is a type of movie that makes us go back a thousand steps.
The series of books After, written by Anna Todd, devastate the youth novels section, which is why the adaptation to the big screen of her first title has come to us. Jenny Gage directs the story of Tessa Young (Josephine Langford), a calm and simple girl who is in her first year of college. Her peaceful life is altered when she meets Hardin Scott (Hero Fiennes-Tiffin); the two belong to totally opposite worlds and will see how their romance must go through various tests.
The purpose is to tell a beautiful love story, without much innovation in its argument but where the sexual awakening and the step to maturity, without neglecting adolescent madness, feel the structure and purpose of the work. All these points are undoubtedly found in the film, but the issue is the facts with which these purposes are identified.
There are topics that work and that there is no reason to change them in a work that, without a doubt, is a copy and paste, but what we do not consider acceptable is to have to continue taking as valid the relationship between innocence and be measured or simple with the virginity, and that, even more, this is still used as a mockery or argument in a narrative.
The ideal girl prototype and the image to which freedom and personal fulfillment are related always go hand in hand with a love relationship. Of course, a relationship can help you grow as a person and cause an introspection of what you want in life, however, it is clearly not the only way to realize yourself.
Not to say that, specifically in this story, despite trying to give another image, due to that relationship she finds a constant impediment to continue and carry out her own dreams.
Nor do we find it acceptable to have once again the presence of the typical bad guy with tattoos that is actually sensitive and falls in love with the good and demure girl. Characters with null emotional arcs that represent that stage of youth in a very simplistic way.
These features are present both the book and the movie since neither in narration nor in the structure of the characters have they dared to make variations, it is a mere tracing page by page.
One of the worst things we find in this stereotyped product is the use of literary mentions for two purposes: first, presuppose a certain intellectual level in the protagonists, and second, to establish similarities between the readings they mention and their own history.
And on a personal basis, we think it's a real sacrilege to try to compare 'Pride and Prejudice' with the story of Tessa and Hardin.
Otherwise, the topics happen. Slightly outdated pop songs, a slow-motion that accompanies a game of looks among the protagonists that are desired, shots calculated not to show nudes, a jealous scene that forces us to rethink the state of the relationship.
But Hero Fiennes is not better either, so we think there is a casting error. As much as he puts effort this actor does not fit with what is supposed to convey both physically and emotionally his character. Without a physical presence, flat and without charisma.
The mountain of problems makes After a lost opportunity in the genre of romantic and youth cinema.