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George (Matt Damon) is a blue-collar American with a special connection to the afterlife dating from his childhood. French journalist Marie (Cécile de France) has a near-death experience that shakes her reality. And when London schoolboy Marcus (Frankie and George McLaren) loses the person closest to him, he desperately needs answers. Each seeking the truth, their lives will intersect, forever changed by what they believe might – or must – exist in the hereafter.
Genre master Clint Eastwood tries something different with the languid, introspective Hereafter--and succeeds (for the most part). All of the characters at the heart of Peter Morgan's screenplay, which has the feel of a European art film, have suffered a loss or survived an ordeal. They feel disconnected from those who can't relate, which is most everybody. George Lonegan (Matt Damon, Invictus), a Bay Area factory worker, developed psychic powers after a childhood illness but just wants to lead a normal life, despite his brother Billy's efforts to turn him into a John Edwards-like celebrity (Jay Mohr plays Billy). Marie LeLay (the versatile Cécile De France), a TV reporter, emerges unharmed from 2004's Indian Ocean earthquake, only to find her Parisian existence slipping away from her (the tsunami sequence that opens the film is frightfully convincing). And in London, soft-spoken 12-year-old Marcus (Frankie McLaren) loses his twin, Jason (George McLaren), only to end up in foster care. While George reaches out to a lovely, if insecure woman (the overly jittery Bryce Dallas Howard) he meets in a cooking class, Marie writes a book about her experience, and Marcus seeks spiritual guidance. In a Babel-like turn of events, all three find themselves in the United Kingdom, where they cross paths, but what sounds contrived plays out in a surprisingly believable fashion. Eastwood and Morgan (The Queen) don't presume to know what happens after death, suggesting instead that those who search for answers deserve something other than disrespect and derision. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
- Tsunami! Recreating a Disaster
- Hereafter's Locations - Casting the Silent Characters
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I was hopeful that the movie would pick up and redeem itself when there was about 1/2 hour left, and for a few minutes there was some light in the plot and acting... but then back into the strange muted mediocrity that pervades the 2 hours you will spend waiting to see the Damon we know and love.
This movie has a great premise, and it's obvious why Damon would have signed on with the script and director. It's a huge shame that the promise of the story was squandered through bizarre direction decisions from Eastwood.
initial Tsunami scenes are captivating because of the power and devastation of the waves of water. But the story continues to
accelerate as we learn more about the "gift" Damon has, and why he considers it a curse.
I liked the music Eastwood selected for this film, and the clever way he uses it to highlight important scenes and moments in the film.
Like I said above, the film requires the viewer to stretch his/her imagination. Once that's done, sit back and enjoy a thoroughly entertaining film.
I think Eastwood simply took a gamble with this film "Hereafter." He had an excellent screenplay which cried out to be made, so he just went and made a film. Like almost everything he touches, the acting in the film was golden.
He may even have had the idea that we need to think a bit more about "the hereafter" -- about life after death. There are, after all, hundreds of people who have had Near-Death Experiences (NDEs), and yet no one seems at all comfortable discussing these things.
Hereafter is based on a solid screenplay and competent performers, It does not question or justify the so called after life. In fact, the whole film is about change, and how it is sometimes so needed in order to survive.
The Blu-Ray is well done and in my opinion needed to be included in anyone's collection. Highly recommended.
Most recent customer reviews
For me, i'd rate this between 2-3 stars!!