“We can both see the Sun, so even though we’re not actually in the same place and we’re not actually together… we kind of are in a way, you know?”Sophie
Aftersun is an astonishing debut from writer-director Charlotte Wells, with a father-daughter holiday on the Turkish coast experienced as a beguiling memory through the use of interspersed camcorder footage and a framing device that gradually emerges as the film unfolds. The film’s 90s soundtrack is instantly evocative not only of the era but also a certain type of package holiday. Frankie Corio is a charming revelation in her first acting role, naturalistic with moments where Sophie seems performative not for the audience but for her father. This is paired with Paul Mescal’s gentle portrayal of Calum as a loving father, an idealist burdened by regrets, a darkness lingering beneath the surface. Overtly a personal exploration for Wells, the film examines the struggle of truly knowing our loved ones, even in close proximity. In a wonderfully underplayed karaoke scene, we see Sophie beginning to perceive her father fully amidst her various, often fumbled, attempts to connect with him. It is those fleeting memories that refuse to let go as Aftersun is that rare breed of film that lingers hauntingly like an afterimage.