Written by Jessica Shelburne
My first thought when I watched the trailer for the newly released film After, was that it is a teenage 50 Shades of Grey. The similar appearance and disposition of characters, same location (Seattle) and paralleled plotline make it somewhat of a juvenile remake, though it is not juvenile in content.
After is a film about two college students who stumble into each other several times and quickly discover their undeniable chemistry. Main character Scott Hardin, portrayed by actor Hero Fiennes-Tiffin, pursues main female character Tessa Young, portrayed by actress Josephine Langford, with strong intent and views her as a sort of challenge. Troubled by events of his childhood, Scott typically avoids commitment but slowly develops an attachment to Tessa that evolves into a fierce sense of protection and love.
Conversely, upon meeting the tall drink of water that is Scott, Tessa eventually disregards her boyfriend at the time as well as her mother’s threats to cut her off if she continues seeing Scott. Compelled to him in ways she had not previously experienced, Tessa has trouble staying away from Scott until it is revealed to her that she was simply a mission of his.
Possibly the most unique characteristic of this book-turned-film is that it is based off One Direction fanfiction, featuring Harry Styles and Zayn Malik as the main characters. Author Anna Todd published this four-book series, of which After is the first, on Wattpadd, and it gained attention at lightning speed. Fans have taken to Twitter with mixed emotions, either proclaiming their excitement or disapproval. While some Directioners are eager to see the novel acted out on the big screen, the image of Styles in mind, others are rather disgusted at the use of the band as promotional material for the film.
Reviews have been mildly unfavorable, but that’s relative. After is now showing in theatres, including those around the Roanoke area.