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The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

[COUNTDOWN TO THE OSCARS] The After : more like the “before”

GRIEF: Dayo sits on his car thinking about memories. (The After press kit)

“The After,” a short film directed by Misan Harriman, shows not to take your time with people for granted.

After witnessing a violent crime on people he loves, Dayo (David Oyelowo) gets stuck in this grief period. While still going through the emotional trauma after seeing this crime, days later, he meets unexpected guests in his ride-share vehicle that make him tackle his grief.

First-time director Misan Harriman does not look like a novice. The film has a few weak spots, like prop design. The knife prop looked very fake, making it look a little too unrealistic, but not to the point where it was a problem.

The main character, Dayo (David Oyelowo), did a great job expressing the emotions necessary for this type of film. He showed great visual emotion without having to speak for a big chunk of the film while he was undergoing his state of visual grief when he dropped off his passengers. Even though David Oyelowo did a great job, the other actors could have performed up to his talents. The other actors made the conversations choppy and sounded scripted, making them seem awkward to be a part of.

At the beginning of the film, Dayo’s wife (Jessica Plummer) commits suicide after watching her young child get brutally killed in a mass killing spree. This part of the film feels empty and does not make much sense. This leaves the viewers questioning what had happened, and although this death is necessary for the plot, the execution of this central plot point is not very good.

While being a short film, having a beginning, middle, and end is challenging because of the small amount of time that can be used up. This film had a very vague but powerful ending. This ending had to make the viewers think about what Dayo was going through instead of just telling the meaning of the whole film. This film did a great job setting its viewers up for the analysis they will have to do after this film by giving us all the material they need to understand what the message of the film is about.

This film gives an amazing message by showing it in the worst-case scenario.

Having the viewers see the pain in Dayo’s eyes makes them put themselves in his position. This makes the viewers sit back and think about everything that can be quickly taken away. You cannot take things for granted because nothing is permanent.

Although this film had yet to be marketed publicly, it has gained much attention, making it in the running for the Academy Award for Best Short Film (Live Action) and NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Short-Form (Live Action) during the 2024 Oscars.

Rating: ★★★

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Tamari Christopher
Tamari Christopher, Staff Writer
My name is Tamari Christopher She/her. I work as a Staff Writer for The Rubicon, RubicOnline, and Ibid yearbook. At school, I’m involved in varsity softball. I love to bake. I can be reached at [email protected].

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