After the Deluge (TV Movie 2003) Poster

(2003 TV Movie)

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Beware of the edition, check its running time
amsuedpol5 December 2004
Please don't judge its quality until you see the original 194 minutes long film maker's edition. The current edition on Region-1 disc, released in 2004, is tragically abbreviated. It is no better than a 103-minutes-long-teaser of "After the Deluge".

As for the original 194 minutes edition of "After the Deluge", it richly delineates the conflict and reconciliation among the family members of the Kirby's through a lot of overwhelming episodes such as traumatic memories of war, memories of a beloved woman, the onset of geriatric Alzheimer's Disease, infertility, grief of sinking into oblivion, breakdown as a family man and a business man, and something like Oedipus complex. These are so skillfully interwoven beyond time and place that all of them are indispensable to lead to the finale that is rather bitter but serene and merciful.

FYI, it was the original edition that won several Australian Film Institute Awards in 2003. Hope that it will be fully released worldwide and immerse us in brilliant flood of emotion with its quality of a universal theme, an elaborate and elegant plot, beautiful music, and wonderful ensembles of performers.
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Rare find
rjackson78 February 2005
This movie is pure brilliance - by far the most incisive and captivating look at contemporary society I have seen for a long, long time. Forget Lord of the Rings and The Matrix - this is one of Hugo Weaving's best performances - David Wenham and Rachel Griffiths are also brilliant (too bad there was no room for Geoffrey Rush and Cate Blanchett, but you can't have everything).

The World War II narrative is juxtaposed with the story of the three sons making their way through today's society - all the tension, tragedy and humor of family, birth, death, marriage and aging are dealt with with finesse and power. The way this movie truly captures and explores dementia startled me like no other movie has.

A daring and challenging story is pulled off flawlessly - without any faff, irrelevancies, clichés or Hollywood pap. Brilliant cast, brilliantly directed - this utterly unknown and completely underrated movie is a gem.

Special Features include director commentary, featurettes on making of, set design, costume and interviews.
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Just Excellent
isabelle19554 October 2005
I have to state at the outset that I have only seen the shortened DVD version of After the Deluge, so that's all I can comment on.

I've just watched this made for TV mini series for the third time, gaining something new from each screening, and I think it will stand up to many further viewings too, because of the depth of the work. It may have been edited down (perhaps "distilled" would be a kinder way of putting it) from a much longer piece, but believe me it still works extremely well. What a truly excellent piece of creative TV, beautifully written, convincingly acted and genuinely moving. I just wish TV of this caliber were more widely available where I live on the American west coast.

The story revolves around an elderly father and his three adult sons who have all, in their own ways, failed to live up to the expectations of those around them. Cliff, the father, now vanishing into the fog of Alzheimer's, survived trauma and near death in WW2, but after losing the love of his life, he gave up on the promising musical career he should have had and became instead a bitter and bullying dad, arguably betraying the people who sacrificed so that he might live. We see his life in flashback as he retreats mentally into the past, and it's as good a portrayal of Alzheimer's as you are likely to see anywhere soon. Alex, with a high achieving career and two kids he hardly sees, has sleepwalked into the failure of his marriage, Toby doesn't have the children he and his wife so much long for, and Marty can't readjust to the demise of his life as a rock and roll star, and has lapsed into cynical dissolution.

They each have good reason to dislike their father, Marty the most. The story follows their individual struggles with the disappointments of their own lives, while also trying to sort out their relationship with each other and their father. It's not a feel good movie, but the resolutions are real and satisfying.

It's really unfair to pick out any one performance as they are all excellent, without exception, a great cast. But I really enjoyed Hugo Weaving's turn as the old rocker and Rachel Griffiths as the woman he falls for. David Wenham shone as Alex, showing realistic emotions and frustrations as he tries to come to terms with his marriage disintegrating, and Samuel Johnson was wonderful as nice-guy Toby. But for me the greatest pleasure was to see Ray Barrett as old Cliff. Here is an actor I remember from my childhood, playing an oilman in The Troubleshooters and, of course, Tracy Senior in Thunderbirds! How wonderful to see him working still. I wish I could find the full length version of this series.

Addendum: I just revisited this film after some months. That's something I like to do with favorite pieces. My membership of that excellent online DVD rental service is almost equally divided between watching stuff I missed on cinema release, and revisiting old friends. This time around it was even more compelling, and I picked up nuamces I missed before. Hugo Weaving continues to impress me with his range since I watched V for Vendetta. And each time I watch it, David Wenham's performance here looks better and better. It's very subtle. I think he is really at his best portraying ordinary blokes coping with unexpected circumstances. Nothing flashy or over the top. Just real.
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`After the Deluge' is superb Television.
Djo-216 June 2003
"After the Deluge" has to be the pinnacle of Australian television. Bringing together an impeccable cast which includes Hugo Weaving, Rachel Griffiths, David Wenham, Samuel Johnson, Catherine Clements and Ray Barrett the show seems set for acting brilliance. But Australian productions have brought together amazing acting talent such as this in the past and failed to deliver.

Fortunately, here we not only have brilliant acting but writing talent that defies words. Moving and inspirational comes close. Andrew Knight who has been responsible for a lot of what is good about Australian TV (Simone de Beauvoir's Babies, My Brother Jack, Kangaroo Palace and Sea Change) has brought it all together with "After the Deluge". Here is an intricate weaving together of the lives of three brothers trying to come to terms with their own failures and the destruction of their hopes and dreams, as their father slips further into his past life via the White Rabbit hole of Altzheimers. What they can never know and what the audience is privileged to be allowed to see, is that their father also suffered through the destruction of his hopes and dreams. To them he was just a cantankerous, domineering father who never showed them or their mother any love. But the audience knows the truth and all the characters are portrayed sympathetically despite their faults.

The imagery of water reflected in the title is used to represent birth, death and rebirth. The score is superb. A combination of classical violin and contemporary rock guitar, it reflects not only the musical generation gap represented by the struggle between patriarch Cliff Kirby (Ray Barrett) and his oldest son Martin (Hugo Weaving), but the movement between the eras as Cliff slips in and out of the past.

`After the Deluge' is superb Television and in this era when Reality TV and lifestyle programs dominate the ratings and Australian production companies, it's so good to see quality dramatic television still getting commercial attention. Kudos to Channel Ten for producing what is usually left up to the beleaguered ABC.
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Hard to rate the butchered US version
xianjiro23 February 2007
Given the star power behind this one, I'm more than a bit hopeful we'll get the chance to see the full version in the US eventually. I hate to say I was not terribly impressed with the 103 min US version. Yes, the acting was fine but the story, and especially the ending, didn't feel at all satisfactory.

I find myself wondering if the time is not yet right for IMDb to create separate database entries and therefore separate ratings for different versions of films when say 50% more/less material is available in a different version. But yes, that would confuse things a bit...

I'm just suspicious that after 5,000 Americans see the butchered edition; its rating will suffer in a way that it probably doesn't deserve.
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Pure Brilliance
Lambstein15 June 2003
The international film industry has provided us with many moments of genuine striking emotion, mainly certain memorable scenes in movies, but very rarely does a piece of television come along that can send constant shivers down your spine.

From the very beginning I was drawn completely into this story. While not being an entirely original concept - a family divided by the actions of one member and the feelings of the others, long-hidden secrets, memories of things said in the heat of the moment - what really makes this a brilliant series is the combination of original cinematic techniques and some amazing performances from outstanding Australian actors.

It's fantastic to see Hugo Weaving and David Wenham, not only back on home soil after appearances in big budget blockbusters, but in roles that show the full spectrum of their talent. I found myself not only despising Weaving's character to begin with, but wanting to reach into the tv and hit him for being such a pompous, narrow minded idiot. We also see amazing performances from Samuel Johnson, Rachel Griffiths and Ray Barrett - an actor who has never stopped delivering top notch performances, and delivers another here - I could have believed he really had Alzheimers.

The other fantastic thing about this series is the cross-cutting between the present and the past, and the inclusion of present day characters in scenes set in the past, and vice versa. The editing technique is seamless, and the four stories mesh perfectly into one, creating an awesome display that a cast and crew of this caliber are worthy of.
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Deep exploration of complex characters
johnstba18 June 2003
Don't watch a lot of TV, nor bother to rate movies, but this was exceptional.

It's a deep and complex analysis of three brothers, and the effect that their father had on their lives - a warts and all production portraying humanity in its raw form.

Perhaps it spoke to me because I'm sharing the same stage of my own lifecycle with one of these people (guzzling from the corporate trough with my own young family) - but colleagues felt similarly, and its definitely worth a look...
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Best drama with outstanding performances from an Australian cast.
abfabflorist14 October 2011
Wow!!! Cannot believe I have not seen this show yet. Is it the actors, director, producer or what that makes this series the best I have ever seen? I watched it now (2011) and thought it was made in 2010, it is so timeless. David Wenham is perhaps my favorite Australian actor actually more like my most fav actor of all time. As usual he is splendid in this as well. To get all the other cast members to be just as brilliant must be a combination of direction and what else? Flawless in every way. Aussies are unique and the best filmmakers ever when given half a chance. We really leave the yanks for dead regarding realism in a story. What a real portrayal of dementia. So sad. Enough said.
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one of the greatest Australian films ever made
timcolebatch7 February 2011
If you only have 8 reviews of this, I'll add a ninth, just to tell the rest of the world that this is a movie to see if you ever get the chance. A psychological drama full of real people, coping with the real world difficulties of life, with the tragedy of their father's Alzheimers juxtaposed with the dramas the three sons are living through. A terrific cast, wall-to-wall quality performances, with Ray Barrett taking the honours as the old man battling the infirmities and indignities of his helplessness, and clinging on to the memories he most treasures. Rachel Griffiths was also at her best in this one. It's so absorbing, the three hours pass all too quickly. Loved it.
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Slice of life.
LoneAssassin17 June 2003
A Dad estranged from his three sons, suffers from Alzheimer's and enters a nursing home. As we relive his old memories good and bad, the boys deal with major turning points in their own lives. This is a pretty sad movie and it has it's moments. Overall it has a good cast and they do well.
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