After Blue (2022) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

After Blue (2022) Review

Horrorific content by christina on June 06th, 2022 | Movie Review | Western, Sci-Fi, Mind Bender, Killer, Thriller, Serial Killer, Body Horror, Arthouse

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It's about a daughter and mother who must catch and bring a runaway criminal to justice on an alien planet that can only be inhabited by women.

After Blue was directed by Bertrand Mandico and stars Paula LunaElina Löwensohn (Let The Corpses Tan, Sombre, and Nadja), Vimala Pons (Eden Log), Agata Buzek (11 Minutes), Michaël ErpeldingMara TaquinClaïna ClavaronClaire DuburcqAnaïs Thomas, and Pauline Lorillard.

After Blue (2022) Review

Bertrand Mandico's After Blue is a surreal and trippy blend of the western, science fiction, and fantasy genres. Never simplistic or straightforward, the film is sure to dazzle and confound viewers with its unique visuals and storytelling. Although After Blue's dive into a luxurious dreamland provides a stimulating sensory experience not possible anywhere else, the movie's overindulgent pacing and confusing story make for a tiresome journey.

The film is set on a mysterious planet on which humans were forced to evacuate after Earth became uninhabitable. However, the men on the planet died soon after arriving, leaving the women to reproduce through insemination. Enter Roxy, a teen who finds a woman buried up to her neck in the sand. Roxy saves the woman, Kate Bush, who thanks her by offering to grant three wishes. However, the first desire is the murder of Roxy's teenage tormentors. Releasing the dangerous Kate Bush portends disastrous consequences for the world, so the townspeople banish Roxy and her mother Zora until they find and apprehend the wanted culprit.

The runtime of over two hours is dedicated to this sprawling quest that does not follow the conventional hero's journey. Mandico is less interested in the western aspects of it and far more interested in worldbuilding through visuals and encounters that are strange and unusual. The film is less a coming of age for Roxy and more of a sexual awakening. It's a lesbian trip set in a world lit in vivid hues, glitter, and dirt. Beyond the boundaries of her small town, Roxy finds lavish dinner parties with cosmic urine, untamed alien game hunted in lush forests and a lot of psychic communication with Kate Bush that often turns erotic. Sometimes there is also violence and grotesque body horror. Disappointingly, the events of the movie don't feel connected or logical. Instead, they come across a series of random, absurd scenes held together by Roxy and a cheesy tone.

Mandico's latest effort is very visually appealing, and the production design and camera work make it look like the production team made it with a larger budget than it was. However, the filmmaker's goal of making the viewer feel confused and out of place in an alien world is successful.

Although the movie's visuals are compelling, the story falls short. The main character, Roxy, is not very interesting and lacks motivation. She's nothing more than a vehicle for sexual curiosity and a means of moving the viewer along without any real purpose. Her guilt over the death of her peers at the hands of Kate Bush is pointless and directionless, just like the film itself.

Worth Watching? 

After Blue makes for an exciting nod to the surreal, acid sci-fi films of the '70s, but it lacks depth and feels too long. However, it lacks any traditional aspects. After Blue features repeatedly chasing after in a manner that slows down the film's pacing. Mandico and Pascale Granel use their technical skills in weirdness, washing everything in bright colors. It's an ambitious and technically well-made movie, but the fevered dream quickly turns into a boring nightmare.

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