Director: Feng Xiaogang
Writer: Su Xiaowei
Producer: Hua Yi Bros.
Starring: Zhang Jingchu/Chen Daoming/Lu Yi/Xu Fan/Zhang Guoqiang/Chen Li
BBFC Certification: 15
Duration: 135 minutes
When I heard that Aftershock is a disaster movie, I instantly had a horrible thought that it would be a show of non-stop spectacular special effects and little story, like 2012 which made me quite worried. However it is with great pleasure to say that Aftershock is not like 2012 as not only does it have spectacular special effects but it also has a very gripping story. The movie is about a family who are separated after the Tangshan earthquake in 1976 and follows the story of each family member and how they lived their life after the disaster. Aftershock is such a pleasant surprise and a nice change from all of the latest Hollywood movies as this is something that is gripping and beautiful yet saddening. The first thing that is quite noticeable in Aftershock is the brilliant performances by its cast. Jingchu Zhang is absolutely fantastic as her character Fang Deng. Her performance was just brilliant as you could feel so much emotion coming from her character and the same can be said for Chen Li who was also fantastic playing the role of Fang Deng’s brother, Fang Da. The entire cast, except for the Canadian who looked lifeless, was magnificent and they all performed extremely well as you could tell they really put so much heart and effort into the movie and it shows.
Aftershock also has a brilliant and gripping story that is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat all the way through. The quality of the story is spectacular and it’s filled with so much emotion and really pays so much attention to the characters and their situations. Not only is the movie brilliantly written but the direction is also something that should be recognised just as much. There is a lot of detail, effort and work that has been put into the movie that makes it hauntingly real and makes you feel like you’re there, watching this unfortunate disaster that has taken so many lives right in front of your eyes. Aftershock’s cinematography is simply stunning from start to finish and everything felt so realistic, especially the horrifying Tangshan earthquake. For those who were a little disappointed by 2012, watch this instead as this is what 2012 should have been.
People may call Aftershock a disaster movie but I think it’s more of a drama movie with a disaster. It mostly shows you about how the family members cope after the devastating earthquake that had claimed many lives than actually focusing on the earthquake itself. The movie shows that you don’t need spectacular CGI and special effects all the way through for people to be impressed as the characters and their stories triumph over special effects any day. To simply say it, Aftershock is one of the best movies I have ever seen and I would recommend it to anybody and I would advise people to watch this at least once in their lives. This deserves to have so many awards and accolades and also deserves every positive thing said about it. Although if you do not like subtitled movies, I don’t think you may like this as much.