Aftermath follows the story of two individuals Roman and Jacob. Excited to see his wife and his pregnant daughter, Roman leaves early from work but he is met with a grave message about the death of his wife and pregnant daughter in an air crash. We see Jacob’s leading a happy life with his family until the crash happens while he is at the traffic control tower. Both the individuals go through trauma and a lot of stress on different levels. Jacob leaves the town and changes his name. After a year, Roman finds out about Jacob’s new address. He goes there asking for apology but instead kills Jacob in front of his wife and children. Roman is jailed and confronts Jacob’s son after he is released.
Aftermath is based on the real life incident where Russian architect Vitaly Kaloyev murdered Danish air traffic controller Peter Nielsen. Vitaly held Peter responsible for the death of his wife and two children who died in the mid-air crash of Bashkirian Airlines Flight 2937 and DHL Flight 611 on July 1, 2002 over Überlingen town in Germany. The movie was shot in Columbus, which is the hometown of Maggie Grace.
What To Anticipate:
Aftermath is based on the real-life air crash at Überlingen town, but for one it works better if you don’t delve too much into the real story before watching the movie. The movie is good enough to carry the weight of the story on its shoulders, but at the same time, the dialed-down, depressing monotone of the movie might take a toll. If anything, this movie teaches you patience.
It’s not a typical Arnold movie where you see him throw up hardened dialogues paired up with some hardcore punching actions and bullets flying everywhere. It’s a movie that deals with incredible grief and loss that turns towards the personal tragedy of one man into the idea of vengeance. The story line isn’t perfect. It’s dark and morose with too many head-shots and quiet and slow moments. You expect the confrontation to happen sooner. But at the same time, you do empathise with both Jacob and Roman. The guilt that traumatizes Jacob runs parallel to Roman’s grief.
In Aftermath, the action takes place in the beginning and the whole movie relies on that to turn different pages in the story. But besides the characters of Jacob and Roman, the presence of none of the supporting characters has been met with the same dexterity. Maggie Grace as Jacob’s wife seems too young to have played that role. Even the reporter could have used some more screen time, for her presence turns to be the pivotal point in the whole story. Also, the ending of the movie could have used a little more insight into the confrontation of the characters. Aftermath could have been a lot more for the foundation story is impactful and emphatic.
Both Arnold and Scoot McNairy have played their characters brilliantly. The depth of understanding that goes behind in playing those characters suggest the level of preparation that both Arnold and Scoot must have gone through and for that they do deserve a round of applause. The idea of symbolism in the form of two aeroplanes crossing each other at the skies is a painful reminder of the incident and it works for the audience.