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Aftersun Ending Explained: What Does the Last Dance Mean?

by Ana Lopez
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Aftersun ending explained

After sun is one Drama film from 2022 written and directed by Charlotte Wells, and starring Paul Mescal, Frankie Corio and Celia Rowlson-Hall.

A24 released it in the United States October 21, 2022, and Mubi released it in the UK November 18, 2022.

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‘Aftersun’ Ending Explained: What Does the Last Dance Mean?

On the last night of the trip, Calum attends a neighborhood party and starts to dance casually. He shouts to Sophie: ‘Come on. However, Sophie is too shy to dance and does not want to go with him. She hugs him tightly.

Aftersun ending explained

This scene cuts abruptly to adult Sophie (Celia Rowlson Hall) Watching Calum dance wildly for her somehow dark disco party. Although Sophie doesn’t express her anger towards her father verbally, it is clear that she does harbor it.

The way he always knew when to hold back and when to speak, just like his own emotional distance, could be the cause. We catch a glimpse of an exhausted Calum trying to hold onto a grown Sophie, but she pushes him away from under the flashlights.

The scene shifts to the current holiday. Finally we see Calum Sophie wave goodbye at the harbor video camera images. The film then departs from the adult Sophie’s room, slowly revolves around her and arrives at the exact spot where she had waved goodbye to Calum.

Calum closes the video camera and exits through the exit door, ending the scene. Beyond the exit door is the the same dance floor with flashlights. It suggests the same location where adult Sophie confronts him.

Aftersun review: An amazing first feature that captures Paul Mescal at his most heartbreaking

It’s hard not to associate the moments leading up to heartbreak with omens. Too often the mind transforms memories in prophecies. Colors are intensified. Solidify emotions. It’s hard to imagine, let alone talk about.

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That’s why Aftersun, the feature debut by Scottish filmmaker Charlotte Wells, is so impressive. She has captured the elusivefind the words and pictures to describe a feeling that always seems to be just beyond our comprehension.

Aftersun ending explained

Perhaps the only way to understand memory in a meaningful way is to a personal level. And here Wells has sucked some autobiography into a story of her own painstaking handiwork. Sophie (Frankie Corio), 11, is on vacation with her father, Calum (Paul Mescal), in the 1990s, when the Macarena was at its cultural peak.

Clearly, Calum is no longer with Sophie’s mother. He moved to England while they stayed in Scotland. This one trip to turkey, which Calum can barely afford is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for father and daughter to be together.

Except we are watch these events as they are remembered – by an elderly Sophie (Celia Rowlson-Hall) under the strobe lights of a nightclub, a rave, or rather, the chaotic confines of her own mind.

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We also see her playing an old one and playing it again VHS tape of the triptrying to uncover a hidden truth that Aftersun, in a masterful move, never reveals.

Aftersun trailer

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