When a successful New York advertising executive (Will Smith) suffers a great tragedy he retreats from life. While his concerned friends try desperately to reconnect with him, he seeks answers from the universe by writing letters to Love, Time and Death. But it's not until his notes bring unexpected personal responses that he...more
When a successful New York advertising executive (Will Smith) suffers a great tragedy he retreats from life. While his concerned friends try desperately to reconnect with him, he seeks answers from the universe by writing letters to Love, Time and Death. But it's not until his notes bring unexpected personal responses that he begins to understand how these constants interlock in a life fully lived, and how even the deepest loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty. less
“Collateral Beauty has enough beauty, if only you have the eye to spot it!”
The applause worthy facet of Collateral Beauty in entirety is its sincerity in not making us seek happiness when grief has found its prevalence; it simply suggests an approach to overcome that. Despite keeping us under the impression of taking the 'seen all that' course, the David Frankel movie largely unknots common life mysteries we otherwise wouldn't normally think about. And in doing so, it falters, inspires, falters again but puts across its point quite considerably.
When a successful advertising executive Howard Inlet (Will Smith) experiences an irreparable loss, his longing to enjoy life goes immeasurably dim. His colleagues cum friends have no choice but to think of ways to bring him back to his routine so they could all find their feet safe again professionally besides giving Howard a life. Howard, who reaches out to what he believes to be three aspects of life - love, time and death, is taken by surprise when all three of them turn up with different undertones to help him fix life. The subtly laid realization is what Collateral Beauty tries to introduce us to.
While the film mostly adapts a constant tone and mood to convey its message, it is highly incentivized with its leading performances. From a cast board that carries names rich enough to make us bow down, David Frankel gets more than half the job done with expressions alone. All it needed was a tighter screenplay in place and Collateral Beauty could have given us much to wonder about.
While you try and associate yourself with the pain one is going through, the slightly preachy and at times marginally over theoretical philosophies test your attention. The subplots within its much simpler narrative hamper the pace of this already emotional journey. The film almost desperately tries to take us closer to each and every character sketched, but deviates from its core essence on more occasions than one. As much as we try and keep the connected dots of love time and death intact, the filmmaker quite regrettably offers us to loosen our attention.
Despite that, Collateral Beauty succeeds in moving your emotions quite admittedly. As much as it stays committed to put its views across, the subtext of its narration never loses relevance. In one scene where Helen Mirren is subjecting death's point of view to Michael Pena, you almost find yourself sympathizing with her for feeling the grief she is causing as death. There are moments like these that make this film proportionally more relevant than its outlining idea at large.
For people who wanted Will Smith back really, they've got him. As charming as he is with his expressions, one can't deny his greatest strength is moving people to tears. He not only brings his viewers feel the pain he's suffering, he also sort of convinces how it's irrational to try and move on post a serious painful incident. Similar words for Edwart Norton and Kate Winslet who show enough earnestness as friends cum healers. Michael Pena and Jacob Latimore fit in good as well.
However, Helen Mirren portraying death makes even passing away look charming with her brilliance. The lady owns all the scenes she's a part of quite literally. Keira Knightley is equally impressive as love and oozes immense delightfulness with her lovely rendering of what we think love really is.
Collateral Beauty isn't quite what it really could have been, yet it touches deep inside your heart to voice its message quite effectively, that perhaps is its real beauty! But as they say - "beauty lies in the eyes of beholder" and maybe David Frankel's too.