Movie Review: Hereafter

Clint Eastwood directed this movie exploring the possibilities of what happens after death.

We follow a disillusioned psychic named George (Matt Damon) who has given up a career doing “readings” for fees, managed by his brother. George considers his skill a curse, when others think of it as a gift. He wants a regular life as a regular guy. George strikes us throughout the movie as an average man, working in a factory in San Francisco, living by himself, listening to recordings of Charles Dickens novels in this spare time.

We follow a French media star named Marie Lelay (Cécile De France) when she gets, literally, swept away by a tsunami during a vacation and goes through a near-death experience.

We follow an English schoolboy named Marcus (Frankie McLaren) who grieves for his twin brother after his accidental death in London.

The three storylines appear unconnected until the plot brings them together in London.

This is where I will leave you with my comments about the movie and the story, so you go and watch it for yourselves and I will proceed with my feelings about the movie.

Eastwood explores what might happen after death and he does it through three different points of view:

  1. The psychic who can himself see beyond the boundary and make a real connection, starkly contrasted from a number of fakes and charlatans.
  2. The woman who almost drowned in a tsunami and herself went through a near-death experience.
  3. The boy who loses his soul-brother, his twin, and grieves for him deeply.

When rating this movie for you and evaluate it qualitatively, I am having trouble unlike I remember having it before. There are three different view points I have to share:

My own: I enjoyed the movie very much. I was entertained by the story. I liked how the various plot lines were very authentic and realistic. The French plot line was entirely in French, clearly spoken, understandable,  but … French, with subtitles. It gave the movie a realistic feel, unlike other, lesser movies where all the actors in France somehow speak English with French accents. I thought the tsunami scenes were absolutely amazing. These scenes alone justify going to see this movie. I liked the way George was just a regular blue-collar worker, without airs and without being pretentious. A very congruent performance. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute.

Trisha: She walked out of the movie with me and said: “Man, that was a bad movie” and then went on explaining her viewpoint. How the acting was bad, the story had no plot, nothing happened and it had potential, but it could have been so much more. I do not want to put  words in her mouth, but the bottom line was: One of the worst movies she watched in a long time. It was hard for me to reconcile, listening to her, that we were in the same theater, next to each other.

Ebert gave the movie four stars. Read for yourself.

I don’t remember having to rate a movie with such different feelings, but here I go:

Rating: ***

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