Directed by Clint Eastwood, Hereafter attempts a metaphysical structure of International proportions, but the film is as dreary as the 'idea' that Hollywood and/or Eastwood can put together an intelligent film about the spirit.
I’d personally heard a little about this film from Eastwood himself, in one of the trades. That the Multi-Talented Legend, would be going in spiritual directions was an interesting thought.
I did expect the usual Hollywood affectations on these matters. A lost soul, played by Matt Damon, would appear to be an interesting subject. And Mr. Damon in the film as George Lonegan is a good presence as he attempts to rid himself of his past. As a Psychic he realizes that his life is moving in directions that are opposed to an ordinary life.
He is surrounded by questions that have gotten too big for him and tries to explain to his brother, his need to be normal. His brother would prefer that he stick to the money.
In Hereafter, Director Eastwood has mainly 3 scripts working at once.
Besides the Damon character (Lonegan) there is a ‘famous’ French Reporter/Writer who has a Near Death Experience.
Believe it or not it’s about that light again.
Marie Lelay (Cécile De France) sees a light:
You know, as a scientist and atheist my mind was closed to such things. Oh, absolutely.
Afterlife, near-death experiences Like everyone else, I thought people saw bright lights, Eden-like gardens and so forth because they were culturally conditioned to do so.
But after 25 years in a hospice working with people, many of whom were pronounced dead but then miraculously survived. the account of what they actually experienced were so strikingly similar it couldn’t just be coincidence.
And add to that the fact that when they had these experiences they were almost all unconscious, a state in which my enemies agree the brain cannot create fresh images.
From a Doctor in the movie Marie gets her lights verified. Still I’m one who isn’t impressed by lights and so forth. I’m not looking for a good time, I guess. And the fact that many have seen a light show doesn’t mean much. Now if you can be truly dead for say about 20 months then come back, I doubt rather highly that you’d be peeing your pants with talk of happiness. I think death would have popped off your happy lights by then. So these are not thoughts or visions that are new by any sense.
The other part of the movie is of two twin boys with a Crack Head mother. Little cute London Tots who are sweet enough, but unfortunately one’s going to die. The one boy left over becomes a focus of the movie, and the whole thing sort of dove-tails back to Lonegan who does eventually meet these characters.
The film is really dull though. With 3 stories going and Eastwood in unfamiliar waters in the first place, here he is going from Europe back and forth to America to see how Lonegan (Damon), is doing. The movie is not working, the Screenplay is very short on drama and Eastwood’s directing tools, so sure when it’s about killing a cop or a cowboy is off here in more subtle territory.
It’s a shame that the Studio didn’t chuck 2/3rds of the film and just tell Eastwood to focus on Lonegan. I was very impressed, however with the Tsumami special effects at the beginning of the movie. Very well done, which made me think of 2012, a movie that Eastwood himself would have surely saved from it’s own mediocrity.
So it’s a shame that I have to say no to Mr. Eastwood on this one. His head, heart and the other stuff are in the right place, just that Hereafter doesn’t add up, it’s actually a Boring Film. The old saying is that if the whole body is rotten than cut off the head. Heads don’t fly like they used to and Eastwood’s Legendary status may have Nixed Hereafter.
After all who wants to tell a King that his Kingdom isn’t all there?