At the crossroads of grief and artistry, “The After” directed by renowned photographer Misan Harriman, presents a stirring exploration of sorrow’s lingering grasp. Within its concise 18-minute canvas, this Oscar-qualified short elegantly oscillates between the weight of a devastating loss and the universality of human emotions.
David Oyelowo, known for his riveting performances in Selma and A United Kingdom, steps into the character of Dayo, offering an evocative portrayal that stands testament to his immense range. He navigates a post-tragedy world, following a heart-wrenching knife attack that bereaved him of his family, epitomized by Amelie Dokubo and Dominique Tipper. Though the narrative does not dwell on the specifics of the tragic incident, it aptly directs its lens towards its aftermath, casting a gentle light on the scarred psyche of a grieving rideshare driver. Dayo’s journey to healing is amplified by his chance encounter with a family reminiscent of his lost world.
Harriman’s directorial finesse shines brightly, managing to balance dialogue and dramatic nuances, letting emotions simmer without boiling over. The pacing is impeccably tailored for its short runtime, ensuring the narrative is neither rushed nor dragging. The ebb and flow of Dayo’s interactions with his passengers paint a broader palette of life, love, loss, and the fragments of hope that can sometimes emerge from despair.
Having left a mark at the BFI London Film Festival, “The After” is set to dazzle audiences globally on Netflix from 25th October 2023.