After: the reasons for the success of the films based on Anna Todd

The second chapter of the After saga arrives in streaming, from April 2, on Infinity +: two archetypal characters, able to identify many people, two very fascinating actors, and that literary basis, which is not only Anna Todd’s books, but also the classics of the sentimental novel.

After: the reasons for the success of the films based on Anna Todd

He is more me than myself“. It is a phrase taken from Wuthering Heights, the novel by Emily Bronte, and reveals a transport, a total love of a woman for a man. You may have recently heard this phrase in a movie. That movie is After, the first film based on Anna Todd’s successful young adult literary saga, which arrived at the cinema in 2019, directed by Jenny Gage, to become a box office winner: 69.5 million dollars worldwide. The film saga continued with After 2 (2020) by Roger Kumble, After 3 (2021) and After 4 (2022) by Castille London: three films that have arrived on our screens directly in streaming, where they have shown that they live as well as in the cinema.

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After: Hero Fiennes Tiffin with Josephine Langford in one scene

Now the second chapter of the saga arrives in streaming, from April 2, on Infinity+. It is a very particular series of films, with two archetypal characters, capable of identifying many people, two very fascinating actors, and that literary basis, which is not only Anna Todd’s books, but also the classics of the sentimental novel. At the center of the story are Tessa and Hardin, two very different kids who fall in love and try to make it through a thousand difficulties and ghosts of the past. As you can tell from the quote from Wuthering Heights, these stories have always been told. But every era has its own love story. And now it’s time for After.

Anna Todd’s books… born by chance

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After: Josephine Langford and Hero Fiennes Tiffin in one scene

If the adventure of After on our screens had a title, it could be “Chronicle of an announced success“. It was often like this when a saga young adult from paper books she turned into celluloid, sorry in pixels, and it arrived in the cinema and then in streaming. Let’s think about the saga of Twilightof which somehow After is the heir, or to that of Hunger Games. The story of After, however, is even more curious. THE books by Anna Todd they were born by chance, from a series of posts written for fun on the online platform Wattpad which met with unexpected success. Having become a book, they have given rise to a worldwide publishing case. And when a film comes to life from a cult literary saga, it starts from a base that already has millions of fans around the world. It’s a ready audience that can’t wait to go to the cinema – and then to streaming platforms – to see if those images that she had imagined while reading the pages are exactly as she imagined in her head. Or, in any case, to relive them. And then there’s another audience that’s curious to see if that film, which is already being talked about so much, is really worth it.

After, the review: the beautiful (and dark) of the college

An archetypal story, like Twilight

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After 2: a scene from the film with Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Josephine Langford

After, right from the start, it had everything to be the new Twilight. First of all because, as mentioned, it was born from a successful literary saga. But, beyond the obvious differences in atmosphere and setting, there is the same archetypal story at the center. Both films tell of the fascination that a girl who falls in love for the first time has for those who appear more experienced, dark, perhaps dangerous. But, to tell the truth, it is precisely falling in love, losing control, approaching sex that has a sense of danger in it. It’s a story that always works, because every girl ends up in it. Certain, Twilight he used the vampire as a sort of metaphor to evoke the distance between the worlds of the two lovers, and thus to represent the forbidden. Here the game is open and there is no need to disguise a sentimental film as a horror. Tessa and Hardin are two real characters who live in our world. I am the good girl, and the maudit, the handsome dark one. Two archetypal characters.

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After 2: Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Josephine Langford in a scene from the film

Him: Hero Fiennes Tiffin

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After: Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Josephine Langford in one scene

About Twilight, we know that a self-respecting film saga will be all the more successful the more successful the protagonist is, especially the male one. And the dark handsome mentioned above is called Hardin and, in the first film, he wears a Ramones t-shirt to let us understand that he has a punk attitude. The actor who plays him is called Hero Fiennes Tiffin, is English, and is a son and grandson of art. He is in fact the son of director Martha Fiennes and nephew of Ralph and Joseph Fiennes. As a child he played the young Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter and the halfblood Prince. When he grows up, he shows off his full lips and square jaw, combined with a look and a smile that manage to convey mischief, but also discomfort, which are the hallmarks of his character. Hardin is a boy as fascinating as he is unfriendly and obscure, who will prove irresistible to Tessa.

Her: Josephine Langford

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After: Hero Fiennes Tiffin and Josephine Langford in one scene

The other side of the romance is Tessa, played by Josephine Langford, who is perfect to represent the archetypal heroine of these stories. He manages to stage a soap and water girl, all home and studies, who will find herself overwhelmed by a love story bigger than her. she is a character of our times, a sensitive girl who falls in love with her, who grows thanks to this relationship, but she never stops being herself, who is always determined, who pursues her work dreams and achieves them . Josephine Langford is Australian and she too has artists at home: her older sister, Katherine Langford, is in fact the protagonist of the series Thirteen. Blonde, blue eyes with a very particular shape, a sweet and round face, Josephine Langford is perfect because she has a clean and reassuring beauty: not an unattainable beauty. And this allows many girls to see her as one of them and to identify with her.

Sensuality and attraction, but in a clean way

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After: Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Josephine Langford in one scene

But many girls, and even boys, will identify with the story, they will want to live it and relive it because it conveys sensuality, attraction, passion. It’s something we’ve all experienced, and that many kids, when they see movies, are going to live or have just started living. Finding yourself even in the first time scenes, in those where the chemistry between two boys who love each other is evident, is something that attracts the teenage audience a lot. And, at the same time, it doesn’t upset them too much. In the film there is sex, passion, but there is no nudity. But you try to be correct, clean, as in the scene of the first time of Tessa and Hardin, where the use of the condom is clearly shown, something that until recently would not have been seen in the cinema. After it’s a perfect movie for teenagers.

After 4, the review: the endless push and pull of Tessa and Hardin

Emly Bronte and Jane Austen as tutelary deities

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After 2: Hero Fiennes Tiffin in a scene from the film

But one thing we like, and what makes the film original, is that the saga of After he continually flirts with culture, and especially with the great literature of the past. The tutelary deities of these books, and of these films, are Emily Brontewith his Wuthering HeightsAnd Jane Austenwith Pride and Prejudice. These are the classics that the protagonists read in college, the ones with which they try to decipher their lives and their loves. And the world of books continues to be fundamental when Tessa finds work in the publishing world. Anna Todd manages to give a patina of culture, a certain intensity to a story that is very simple. But that’s exactly why it works.

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