A man wanders through an almost dystopian landscape, trying to find an old farmhouse he has inherited. The people he meets are a bit strange – some ask him to kill someone for them, or try to seduce him, or get him to ...展开drink alcohol or just act plain damn weird. But there again, he's pretty weird himself.
This experiment in non-linear storytelling maybe has elements I couldn't figure. Every time I thought I might have a handle on it, the meaning eluded me. It's told in four chapters - The Sky, The Dust, The Wind, The Road. In the packed UK premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, two people fell asleep within yards of me well before the third chapter. This is admittedly two hours of experimental film making that might be viewed as fairly soporific. The actors utter occasional lines with long silences between, as if each phrase had some deep significance. The gestures and movements follow the same pattern. The denouement partly explains, at least in the sense of a who-dunnit – but fails to fit the pieces together in a logical pattern as far as I could see. The setting is a rural, run-down area of Hungary. The film looks as if it was shot on a nominal budget. As a psychological essay it is perhaps more satisfying – as with early Lynch, the experience is not about having a simple straightforward plot with all the pieces explained and ends tied up with a ribbon. Where the film fails is that it is less interesting that early Lynch. The long pauses verge on being pretentious: but for those who like an enigma (solvable or not), After the Day Before has all the ingredients to allow you to stay up asking each other, so what do you think *that* was about??