Created on Thursday, 20 January 2011 02:00
Written by Enilyn Eng
Famed director Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby, Baby, Mystic River, Letters from Iwo Jima) grapples with what happens after death in his latest film, Hereafter.
The movie, which straddles between three characters in three different countries, begins with a promising tsunami scene – with a great street-level angle – set upon a Southeast Asian beach resort that appears to knock the life out of French reporter, Marie (Cecile de France). After the near-death incident, she takes time off work as she loses all concentration due to recurring flashes of ghostly figures or what some might simply brush off as post-accident trauma. Next up is George (Matt Damon), a highly paid medium who decides to throw in the towel as he can't handle the pressure of meeting souls of the past. And the final character is Marcus (George and Frankie McLaren), a 11-year-old English boy whose twin brother was run over by a car. Having lost an extremely precious brother and left alone in a broken family, he seeks ways to reconnect to him – best if on a daily basis. To both Marie and Marcus, George's gift seems to be the solution to their problems. But to the man himself, it is a curse.
In his usual leisurely pace, Eastwood goes into vivid details which might be a tad testing for the younger generations with shorter attention spans and would be best slightly shortened. Those looking for a story would be disappointed by this film, which is more of an exploration of what goes on after a death from the grieving relations' point of view.
Nonetheless, the film has its high points and mini climaxes despite a lack of new perspective on afterlife as well as some cliches here and there. Oh yes, the final scene is just so out of this world – I would say watch it for yourself if you are not the impatient sort.
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