Director: Castille Landon
Cast: Josephine Langford, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Carter Jenkins, Louise Lombard, Arielle Kebbel, Stephen Moyer, Mira Sorvino, Chance Perdomo Genre: Erotic drama
Country/Language: USA / English
Duration: 1 hr 38 min
Release date: October 21, 2021 (on Netflix)
‘After We Fell’ is the new Netflix romantic/erotic drama about young and pretty people in love. It is the sequel to last year’s ‘After We Collapsed’ and 2019’s much-talked about ‘After’. For those who do not know, this series of ‘After’ films are based on the adult fiction novel of the same name by Anna Todd. Interestingly, the book ‘After’ was originally published as a Wattpad fanfiction about popstars Taylor Swift and Harry Styles (of One Direction). These two celebrities, in fact, dated each other some years ago. The stand-in characters for Swift and Styles are wide-eyed, American good girl Tessa and her lover, British bad boy Hardin. T for Tessa and Taylor Swift. H for Hardin and Harry Styles. Get it?
Tessa (Josephine Langford) and Hardin (Hero Fiennes Tiffin) have together undergone various struggles that are typical for a relationship. But in the prequels, they have proven to be a rather volatile and toxic match. In the last two films they have dealt with drunkenness, drug abuse, assault, jealousy, more assault and other consequences as a result of poor communication.
Tessa has now graduated from college and moved to Seattle, Washington for a job at a top publishing company. Her boyfriend Hardin doesn’t see himself fitting in at Seattle so he stays behind. He does, eventually, visit her though. But soon before they know it, Tessa and Hardin are playing mind games again. Hardin ghosts on Tessa to spend some time with a female friend. In retaliation, In retaliation, Tessa flirts with a handsome waiter named Robert (Carter Jenkins) to make Hardin jealous. As expected, Hardin gets his panties in a twist at the sight of her giving attention to another man, and returns to her.
The biggest problem with ‘After We Fell’ is that there aren’t enough situations or drama to justify the movie’s running time. The lovers fight, confess their secrets, get mad at each other and leave, and then get back together again and have intercourse. This same cycle occurs at least three times throughout the film so that it becomes as predictable as sunrise and sunset. There’s even a scene that lasts for over 3 minutes where Tessa swings her hips seductively to a Zara Larsson song and Hardin watches her intently. Mind you, this speechless scene, which serves no purpose to the story, lasts for over 3 minutes! There just isn’t enough meat on the bones. So many such scenes could have conveniently been shortened at the editing floor, if not completely cut out.
Added to that is the lacklustre chemistry between the two leads. Langford and Fiennes Tiffin aren’t terrible actors. But the script here is just too weak, inevitably making the actors look like robots delivering lines. The dialogues between them don’t carry the weight of love and the sex scenes drag on for too long. These scenes aren’t hot or romantic. They do, however, succeed in making the viewer uncomfortable because of how unnecessarily long they are.
The ending – when a character learns a horrifying secret about their own past – comes out of nowhere so that when it is revealed, we don’t really care for anyone.
‘After We Fell’ is a long, winding movie with a dragging pace. I was initially considering it as one of those movies to fall asleep to. But on second thought, it would be just like falling asleep to nothing because this film will literally have no impact on you consciously.
‘After We Fell’ is now streaming on Netflix. It is currently ranking #2 on India Today.
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