(Los Angeles, CA) October 15, 2010 -
Hereafter, written by
Peter Morgan and directed by
Clint Eastwood, will be released in theaters October 22, 2010. The film is a contemplative and meandering journey told through three separate story lines that attempt to reconcile the question of life after death.
The film opens with Marie LeLay, ( Cécile de France), a French journalist who survives a tsunami while vacationing with her lover in Indonesia. The devastation and chaos created within seconds by the massive wave is awe-inspiring, unfortunately, that was one of few inspiring moments in the film. Caught in the disaster, the injured Marie hangs on the fringes of life and death before being pulled back to the living. After returning home to France she is haunted by the visions that she encountered while hovering near-death. Her story then turns into a paranormal quest to resolve the mystery of her experience.
Meanwhile, over in London, Marcus and Jason, ( George and Frankie McLaren), are inseparable twins boys trying to cope with their drug addicted mother. Jason’s sudden death due to a car accident propels Marcus on a mission find a way to communicate with his brother in the afterlife.
Across the pond in San Francisco, George ( Matt Damon) struggles to conceal his physic abilities and live a normal life. He finds that running from his ‘gift’ of clairvoyance is more difficult than one would think. The film wanders through these three story lines trying to draw them closer and closer together with minimal success.
The transitions from one vignette to the next were rather jolting rather than fluid. Just as your attentions were focusing on a particular storyline, it abruptly switched to another. While it was apparent since the introduction of Matt Damon’s character how these stories would ultimately converge, the journey through the melancholy lives of these individuals slow-moving and anticlimactic.
I found "Hereafter" to be disappointing. There were so many chances to capture the audience’s attention and make this a dynamic Sixth Sense kind of film, but it failed in all regards to bring forth the rich talents of it’s cast. The ending was a grand disappointment with all three individuals finally coming together, (big surprise). Struggling to deal with their desire for clarity and closure, the interaction of the characters is stilted and forced, ending very vaguely. I can understand the need to leave some parts of the story up to audience interpretation, but they failed to give the audience a clear connection of the characters.
I kept hoping this movie would pick up the pace and have a strong climatic ending; only to be disappointed. I was hoping that current mantra of "Is 2010 really the worst year for movies ever? Or is Joe Queenan just nuts?" would be dispelled. I’m afraid that after seeing this movie I’d have to agree if Joe was to add this movie to his list of worst movies for 2010. I would suggest waiting for the DVD.