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The Independent Critic

Timothy J. Cox, Beth Metcalf
Thomas Angeletti
Timothy J. Cox
18 Mins.

 Movie Review: After 
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A fairly well known indie character actor with a slew of shorts to his name, Timothy J. Cox has been expanding his horizons as of late by climbing into both the writer's and director's chairs on occasion. His latest film, After, is such a film with Cox both writing and co-starring in the film alongside Beth Metcalf in an 18-minute tour-de-force that likely ranks among Cox's best performances to date. 

Cox is Michael Darcy, a police detective whose police officer son has just been killed in the line of duty. After is a one-location film that not so quietly simmers throughout its running time, Michael's grief palpable with a rage that feels as if it could explode at any time. After exists somewhere along that fine line between grief, despair, and revenge. The presence of his daughter, Annie (Metcalf), provides something resembling a salve that doesn't quite soothe. It's pretty clear from early on in After that Cox's finely tuned and nuanced script could go a myriad of directions and yet he wisely chooses a direction that is both natural and immensely thoughtful. 

Directed with intelligence and insight by Thomas Angeletti, After is a messy and unsettled affair in all the right ways. If you've ever lost someone, especially to violence, you'll recognize the thoughts and feelings that radiate throughout After both in Cox's dialogue and Angeletti's intuitive direction. Cox's performance as Michael burns with a powerful ache and it's never completely clear where we're going to end up until the film begins to wind down.

Metcalf's turn here is quieter yet no less intense as a grieving sister now watching her father and recognizing, at least eventually, what is going on. It's a powerful performance that serves as a strong companion to Cox. 

Lensing by Jake Reynolds is bold yet intimate, emotionally raw and honest throughout. Dorothy Gerwing's set decoration plants us smack dab in the middle of a house that no longer feels like a home and we can't help but feel both immersed and unsettled. 

Currently on its indie fest journey, After is a fiercely compelling and thought-provoking indie short that lingers in the heart and mind long after the closing credits have rolled. It should easily find a home on the indie fest circuit and is definitely a film to watch for if you get a chance. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic