Billy CrudupJulianne Moore...
In 8 Cinemas
Featured image: kmuw.org
When you hear a moving story and try to retell it, is it ever as moving? Can someone retell a narrative and be able to create the same, or even more, emotional impact? Well, the filmmakers of After the Wedding are attempting just that.
After the Wedding follows Isabel (Michelle Williams), who runs an orphanage in India, as she travels to New York to seek funding from millionaire businesswoman, Theresa (Julianne Moore). What Isabel doesn’t know is that her visit will change her life, as she comes face to face with a past that she is trying to forget.
The feature is a remake of a 2006 film of the same name, with the most distinct change being the swapping of the genders of the main characters. This change complicated the plot from the original, but also added a new challenging perspective for the characters.
The plot itself is very dramatic and filled with many supposedly moving events; however, the outcome is not moving. Yes, you get shocked as twists and dramatic events get unveiled, but while the film aims to have you weeping, you probably won’t even be that sad.
The main problem is the film’s script, which takes a very emotional story and portrays it in a somewhat restrained and stiff manner, making the feature seem more like an episode of a soap opera rather than something that could be real and actually moving.
How the characters are written is also an issue; most of them are very much two-dimensional beings, defined mainly by one or two characteristics, which again makes them seem like they come from a soap opera. Isabel is guarded, especially around wealthy people, and she will do anything to get money for her orphanage, while, being rich, Theresa is the opposite and cares almost exclusively about business. This comparison not only diminishes any depth of these two characters but also strips away the human element that this sort of drama usually relies on.
The acting is majorly affected by the script and the lack of depth in the characterisation; Michelle Williams is very much able to convey her character’s discomfort and her compassion for the children in the orphanage, however, despite her efforts, getting the audience emotionally involved is an issue. Likewise, Julianne Moore pulls off the businesswoman role, but only lets her emotions out in one spectacular crying scene that is so good that it seems misplaced in the feature.
After the Wedding could have been a good remake with the gender-swapping change, but instead, it is a very dramatic film that should make you cry, but won’t.