Saturday, February 26, 2011


Not many good things have been written about this film. As I read poor review after poor review, something didn't add up. This is a Clint Eastwood movie, most of his films are great (apart from Million Dollar Baby which the rest of the world loved, but I wouldn't give one cent for). Not only has the big man directed and written the score, but Matt Damon is in it, and the gorgeous yet underrated Bryce Dallas Howard (well done Richie Cunningham!), and Cecile De France, a beautiful and talented French actor. So what wasn't to like? Not much in my opinion. Hereafter is a well crafted and sensitively told film about, well, the Hereafter. It follows the lives of three people. The main character is George (smile please Matt Damon, oh please smile), an extremely reluctant true psychic who is haunted by his gift. He stumbles through his life, desperately trying to connect with people, only to find that it's impossible when they discover his talent. He is up against trying to live a normal life with trying to stave off his brother's numerous attempts to get him back into the psychic reading business, he's been down that road, and it was a rocky one. The second life is that of young boy Marcus and his identical twin Jason in London. Their Mum is a junkie and they are frequently visited upon by social services. Tragedy hits as Jason is killed. Life and the afterlife are questioned over and over as Marcus tries to make sense of the loss of his beloved brother. The third person is Marie, and she is introduced in the opening scene. Marie (Cecile De France) is a hard nosed tv journalist who is on a dirty holiday in Asia when a tsunami hits. The graphics in this part are quite brilliantly horrific. Marie has a near death experience. This slowly changes her whole attitude and outlook on life, and she finds herself looking for answers and a new career path. These three lonely and sad people entwine together at the end of the film, with really quite emotionally satisfying results. Some questions are answered and tears are shed. It is a Clint Eastwood film. By that I mean that he intuitively seems to know the right notes to strike, not just in his melodious score. There is emotion without sentimentality. There is horror without bloodshed. There is sadness without shirt tearing histrionics. We find out what happens to these world weary people. It's the little things in his movies that always mean a lot. George's love of Charles Dickens. Melanie's heartbreakingly awkward reaction to George's reading. The boy's mother's obvious love for her children. It's been slated as a slow movie. Well, the subject matter is hardly appropriate for a blockbuster. It was a gentle tale that I really didn't want to end. It's also been reviewed as not half as clever as it thinks it is. I don't agree. I think we all have questions about the afterlife. I am a committed atheist but it's an interesting thought, and let's face it, none of us knows for sure what happens when we shuffle off this mortal coil. It surely defies belief that a man entering into his ninth decade this year is continuing to direct such quality films, and scoring the music too. He made my day. Hereafter was a delightful surprise, superbly acted with great depth of emotion. HEREAFTER:I wouldn't be seen dead writing a bad review about this one. 7.5/10

1 comment:

  1. As usual, this hasn't been released here yet, but I'd see it anyway even without this fab review! LOVE xoxo