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Welcome to The Fourth Wall, CHIRP's weekly e-conversation on cinema. This week's subject is the French drama After Love.
This edition is written by CHIRP Radio volunteers Kevin Fullam and Clarence Ewing.
In Joachim Lafosse’s film After Love, Boris and Marie are a couple separating after 15 years of marriage. They have a big house and a pair of adorable twin daughters. For various reasons, Boris is still living with Marie and the kids in the house that was given to the couple by Marie’s parents. He refuses to leave, she refuses to buy him out, and the audience is witness to the slow-motion crash of a family falling apart.
Strong performances by Cédric Kahn and Bérénice Bejo as two people whose relationship has come to an end are complimented by a beautifully stifling atmosphere from the director and cinematographer Jean-François Hensgens.
Most of the film takes place in the house where the family lives. The former loving couple’s frustration, anger, and resentment are so palpable, they become characters in themselves. The audience is placed at a similar perspective to Boris and Marie’s daughters, friends, and extended family as witnesses to the emotional war between these two people.
I felt like After Love is one of the most apt titles for a film that I’ve seen in a while. But then I saw the film’s original French title, L'Économie du couple (“The Economics of a Couple”), which made even more sense.