« Paranormal Activity 2 | Main | Conviction »
Friday
Oct222010

Hereafter

There’s no escaping it. We’re all going to die someday. While some would rather not talk about it, I find a healthy discussion cathartic. I like dissecting the possibilities of the afterlife with open minded individuals because nobody knows what awaits us after death. Maybe religion is right and there’s a god waiting to embrace us. Maybe nothing happens and our lives are simply over. Or maybe what happens lies somewhere in between. Because of this fascination, I love movies that explore life and death and I was hoping Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter would give me something new to think about, but sadly, it goes nowhere. Death and the afterlife are not explored, but rather are merely there in what is essentially another generic, bland, overly sentimental drama.

The movie follows three stories simultaneously. In America, George (Matt Damon) is attempting to cope with a gift he doesn’t want. Due to a surgical procedure on his brain as a child, he now has the ability to touch another human being and see their loved ones. He has become a psychic and communicator for the dead, though he has now given up the lifestyle and is trying to live normally. Across the pond, Marie (Cecile De France) has just lived through a tsunami, or rather died in it before being brought back to life. She experienced death and is beginning to write a book on what she saw. Elsewhere, a young boy named Marcus loses his twin brother Jason (both played at various points by Frankie and George McLaren) in an accident and decides he can’t live without him, so he seeks out information on death and the afterlife.

There is potential in Hereafter. Clint Eastwood is a fantastic director, despite what naysayers may proclaim. He doesn’t do anything too fancy with the camera, but it’s this simplicity that makes him so great. He never draws attention to himself when behind the scenes and he lets his actors bring out the story, which they all do wonderfully. The problem is that the story is insignificant.

Hereafter is a movie that wants to be something more than it is. It wants to say something meaningful about its subject matter, but it never goes the distance to accomplish that goal. A few bullet points are hit here and there, like the idea that religion is used as a comfort for those who fear death, but they never fully come together. Cohesion is not one of the film’s strong suits. Each time something is brought up, it stands alone like a blip on a radar screen.

This problem isn’t limited solely to the themes, however. The many different side stories that exist within the already-too-many main stories don’t feel completely finished. One such subplot shows George as he begins to make a connection with a girl he meets at a late night cuisine course. As prevalent as this is in the first half of the movie, it isn’t properly concluded. After she learns of his gift, she disappears and is never seen or heard from again.

The rest of George’s story is met with contrivances. At one point, he decides to leave the states to escape what his brother calls his “duty” as a psychic to perform readings. So he travels to the home of his favorite author, Charles Dickens, which leads him to a book convention where the other two characters just happen to be mingling, converging all of their stories in the least realistic way possible.

Although I have other issues with the film, like bad CGI and an excessively cheesy ending in the vein of Eastwood’s last film, Invictus, there’s nothing truly objectionable in Hereafter. It does no harm, but it fails to impress and it will likely fade away just as quickly as it appeared. For another filmmaker, this may be passable, but given the legacy of the great Clint Eastwood, this is a real disappointment.

Hereafter receives 2/5

References (5)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Response: www.istarte.it
    I came lately to your website and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my initial comment. Retain writing, cause your posts are impressive! Doesnt it take up a lot of time to keep your blog so fascinating
  • Response
    Response: avantgardesrl.info
    There is perceptibly a bunch to know about this. I feel you made some good points in features also.
  • Response
    Response: 卷帘门机
    电 话:0317-8086188 传 真:0317-8086199 压瓦机 鑫宏翔压瓦机械厂 复合板机 ...
  • Response
    Response: 卷帘门机
    简述彩钢设备的应用 咨询电话请拨打:1383 http://www.xhxywjc.com/news/2012/0421/85.html 2771638 24小时在线QQ:59458991 49870222 手 机:13832771638 15133711101 ...
  • Response
    Response: 龙骨机
    联系电话:13832771638 13932756620 王女士 15133711101 祁先生 固定电话:0317-8086188 传真:0 全自动压瓦机 317-8086199 QQ:59458991 压瓦机 49870222 当前位置 / 俄罗斯压型设备系列 1050全自动压瓦机 公司本着务实,诚信,秉承用户至上的宗旨,以不求最大,但求最优为目标,以一流的 产品,合理的价格,压瓦机,至上的服务来答谢广大用户对我们的支持和帮助,愿与各厂家携手共进,共创 压瓦机

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>