Drama / Mystery / Thriller

Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 38%
IMDb Rating 5.8/10 10 4052 4.1K

Plot summary

Newly divorced lawyer Nathan Del Amico is shaken up after he meets a doctor who claims that he can sense when select people are about to die. Though he doesn't believe the doctor, events in Nathan's life slowly make him think he's not long for this world.

August 06, 2023 at 12:07 AM


Gilles Bourdos

Top cast

Evangeline Lilly as Claire
John Malkovich as Kay
Sara Waisglass as Tracey
Simone-Élise Girard as Nathan's Mother
991.85 MB
English 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 47 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by gradyharp 10 / 10

'O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?'

Sometimes the promotional department of a film causes people to not view a film because it is misrepresented by the graphics on the poster, the DVD cover, or the trailer. Such is the case with AFTERWARDS - a lovely exploration of the concept of death and dying philosophy that has nothing to do with the image of John Malkovich holding a smoking gun! And that is a shame: this is a film that has a lot to say and provides a lot to think about thanks to the writing, directing and acting. The story is adapted from the novel "Et Après..." by Guillaume Musso by Michel Spinosa and writer/director Gilles Bourdos. It is a complex story that thankfully due to the talent of the cast and director is able to carry the audience into a place perhaps not considered or discovered before. It is a thinking person's film and a rewarding one.

The film opens in an idyllic setting of a lake of water lilies where we observe a little French boy Nathan and an English speaking girl Claire gently admiring swans(interesting to note that swans are traditionally or mythically associated with death). The girl slips on the dock, is trapped, and sends the boy to find her parents. The boy runs to the highway where he becomes the victim of a tragic hit and run accident. The film then jumps ahead about twenty years and we discover Nathan (Romain Duris) as a successful New York lawyer living alone after his marriage to Claire (Evangeline Lilly) has ended after the crib death of their son, leaving Claire to manage alone in New Mexico with the couple's surviving daughter: Nathan cannot cope with the fact that he feels responsible for the son's death by not responding to his cries. A strange doctor, Dr. Kay (John Malkovich) appears in Nathan's life claiming that he is able to sense death before it happens: he works in a hospital for the terminally ill, among them is one young lad Jeremy (Reece Thompson) with cardiac carcinoma who is struggling with his incipient dying. Dr. Kay is not malevolent, he is simply a 'Messenger' - one given the ability to visualize a bright white halo around a person who is soon to die. Nathan will not consider the veracity of this obtuse thought until Dr. Kay suggests he visit an old friend Anna (Pascale Bussières) who now works in a diner, living with her Russian father and her son. Nathan is curious, meets Anna, and upon visiting her home witnesses the death of Anna's father. Nathan contacts Dr. Kay, hostile that Dr Kay had suggested Anna was to die but instead lost her father, and Dr Kay reassures Nathan of the process: soon Anna dies also. At this point Dr Kay shares Nathan's history: Nathan did not die in the hit and run accident many years ago and was attended by Dr Kay who then knew that Nathan was also a Messenger. How Nathan turns his life around to flee to New Mexico and join Claire is the transformation of the film.

This is a delicate story told with sincerity and lack of sensationalism. It is a journey into the philosophy of what happens to us as we die. Nathan explains this to is daughter as death being like a ship that sails to the horizon and disappears to our eyes, yet the ship sails on beyond our scope of vision into another unknown space. Director Gilles Bourdos handles the pacing of this visually stunning film with such grace that it becomes a gentle work, allowing the finest acting yet seen from Malkovich, and reminds us of just how fine an actor Romain Duris has become. This is also a lovely introduction of Evangeline Lilly, an actress with tremendous screen presence and acting ability. Forget the trailer and the ugly cover of this DVD and allow yourself to enjoy this mesmerizingly beautiful film.

Grady Harp

Reviewed by claudio_carvalho 6 / 10

Foretelling Deaths

In New York, the French Nathan (Romain Duris) is a successful lawyer divorced from Claire (Evangeline Lilly) and with a little daughter. One day, he meets the mysterious head of the department of the Saint Louis Clinic Dr. Kay (John Malkovich) in his office and the man shows that he knows details of his life. Dr. Kay discloses that he can foretell people's death and he proves to Nathan that he is not a fraud. Nathan is assigned by Dr. Kay to give comfort to those that will die soon. Further, he discovers that his fate is also to be a Messenger.

"Afterwards" is a low-paced drama with a beautiful cinematography about people that has the ability to know when people will die. The unexpected scene in the beginning is very impressive but the screenplay is confused, using many flashbacks but without explanation of the whole scenario. Nevertheless, it discloses in a sensitive way the life and tragedies of the tough lawyer Nathan. John Malkovich is excellent as usual; the gorgeous Evangeline Lilly has also a good performance; but Romain Duris is miscast since he is absolutely non-charismatic with his arrogant expression. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "Depois de Partir" ("After the Departure")

Reviewed by jotix100 7 / 10

The messenger

As the story begins, we are taken to an ideal bucolic setting that ends in what might be a lake. A boy and a girl are playing in a dock. The little girl steps on a loose board and gets trapped. She begins screaming while the boy goes running to get help. As the boy goes to cross the highway, he is struck by an oncoming car. This scene holds the key to perhaps understanding the mystery posed by the creators of this complex film.

Without explanation we are taken to a Manhattan plush conference room where Nathan, a successful lawyer is hearing a colleague present a case which the firm might be interested in taking. It involves a suit against an airline where several family members have died in the Caribbean due to negligence. Nathan does not quite agree with the presentation and decides it is not for the firm.

At this time, an enigmatic man, who claims to be a Dr. Kay, arrives to speak with Nathan. The doctor watches Nathan while he puts sugar in his coffee; he is shocked by the amount of sugar the lawyer uses, so he warns him about possible health risks, something that is dismissed. The nature of Dr. Kay's visit is not immediately known, but the effect of his visit will linger in Nathan's mind and it will disturb him deeply. It is obvious Dr. Kay has come as some sort of messenger to warn about an impending doom, which is hard to understand.

Nathan's life will be greatly transformed as he learns more about Dr. Kay's message. He is shocked when the doctor asks him to accompany to watch a horrible scene in a subway station. Kay also tells him about a lady who Nathan used to know and her impending demise. Dr. Kay also points to other matters that must be seen to in Nathan's own life, like the strange relationship between Nathan and Claire, his former wife. We get to know about the personal tragedy in their life and finally Nathan is told about why he has been chosen by Dr. Kay in what will be his own mission in life.

"Afterwards" is not an easy film to grasp, yet there are rewards for the viewer that pays close attention to what really is underneath of what surfaces on the screen. Directed by Gilles Bourdos, and based on a novel "Et apres", which we never read, with Mr. Bourdos and Michel Spinosa's adaptation of the original material. The film is gorgeously photographed by Pin Bing Lee with an original musical score by Alexandre Desplat, a man with an excellent taste in whatever project he decides to undertake. The film was shot in different locales going from Quebec, to Manhattan to New Mexico.

Romain Duris, a versatile French actor, is at the center of the film playing Nathan. In his first assignment for an English language movie, this amazing actor shows why he is one of the most interesting personalities working today. John Malkovich appears as Dr. Kay, the enigmatic man with a mission. Canadian beauty Evangeline Lilly is fine as Claire.

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