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Hereafter (2010) Movie Review

October 23, 2010

The word hereafter is sometimes used to refer to the afterlife or where you go when you die.  Every one of the world’s religions has its own explanation of what happens when you die.  The movie “Hereafter”, directed by Clint Eastwood explores three characters’ experiences with death and how they cope with it.  George Lonegan (Matt Damon) has a connection to the hereafter and has spent time as a psychic.  After a while, he decided that he didn’t like a life centered around death so he has been trying to live a normal life while avoiding providing any readings.  Marie LeLay (Cecile De France) is a journalist who works for a French television news network and has a unique experience of her own that brings her close to death.  Following this experience she sees glimpses of the afterlife and struggles to cope with this newfound vision.

The final character dealing with death is a young boy named Marcus.  Due to his young age, he has a difficult time accepting things and seeks out the guidance of various people who claim to have a connection to those who passed on.  The three characters start separately and move close to each other as the movie progresses.  It is interesting to watch how their lives intersect even if it may be a little hard to believe what appears as such a coincidental meeting.  I found myself especially connected to young Marcus as his feelings of isolation and loneliness felt the most real.

Cecile De France was fantastic in her role, such that I hardly recognized her despite having seen her in the 2003 movie “High Tension”.  Matt Damon is fittingly somber in his role and plays his character well.  Clint Eastwood returns to a composing role for “Hereafter”, creating a thoughtful soundtrack for small ensembles with a simple, yet effective theme.  Music is used sparingly and reserved for those times when it enhances the emotions.  “Hereafter” is slow for a good amount of the movie but not to the point that it becomes boring.  There is thoughtfulness about the picture such that I felt compelled to reflect on the events more than usual.  The questions each character faces in “Hereafter” are no different from those that we all face at some point.  It is the deeply human characteristics of the cast that makes the movie especially effective.  If nothing else, you will leave the theater prepared to think more deeply about what you personally believe so that you can choose your own answers.



From → Drama

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