sirrah993’s review published on Letterboxd:
Martin Scorsese’s After Hours is an intriguing film, albeit frustrating at times.
It models itself after Orson Welles’ The Trial, where the protagonist constantly finds themselves incapable of controlling events spiraling out of control. It captures that Kafkaesque atmosphere nicely; however, I don’t think it’s organically Kafkaesque. To elaborate, The Trial, being an adaptation of Kafka’s novel of the same name, is about a system that is beyond the protagonist’s understanding.
After Hours doesn’t really have that, but it does share the same component from The Trial of the character making it worse for themselves. And I like that about After Hours, but I feel that certain plot points throughout the film seemed a bit too far-fetched. For example, I never was happy that Paul’s $20 bill comically flew out of the taxi’s window because the taxi driver was driving like a maniac. On top of that, I’m not the biggest fan of Paul’s character. I think he’s a bit of an asshole. Nor do I think Griffin Dunne is a good actor. But I guess that works for the narrative 🤷🏻♂️
All in all, this is a nice little arthouse film by Scorsese about a man’s desire to liberate himself from his 9 to 5 job in order to indulge in his escapist fantasies, only to have it backfire on him.
I may be wrong about my interpretation on this one, because there are a lot of people who are devoted fans of this film, but this is how I felt when I first watched it.
I’m open to rewatch it sometime in the future.