A drama centered on three people haunted by mortality in different ways. George is a blue-collar American who has a special connection to the afterlife. On the other side of the world, Marie, a French journalist, has a near-death experience that shakes her reality. When Marcus, a London schoolboy, loses someone closest to him...more
A drama centered on three people haunted by mortality in different ways. George is a blue-collar American who has a special connection to the afterlife. On the other side of the world, Marie, a French journalist, has a near-death experience that shakes her reality. When Marcus, a London schoolboy, loses someone closest to him, he desperately needs answers. Each on a path in search of the truth, their lives will intersect, forever changed by what they believe might-or must-exist in the hereafter. less
“Some superb performances and a nicely knitted script! The film is quite watchable.”
I can only imagine the headache faced by the marketing and P.R. team at Warner Bros. trying to create a campaign for 'Hereafter'. Sure there are marquee names like Clint Eastwood and Matt Damon attached to the film but after you have watched it, you realize this has little to do with the Hollywood style of filmmaking and more in common with European cinema. The deliberate slow pacing, the broken narrative, the lack of in-your-face "boo" moments and characters with a subdued dramatic arch all results in a fairly engrossing and tender cinematic experience which unfortunately also fails to reach it's true potential.
The story is anchored by three protagonists;
George Lonegan (Matt Damon) a psychic who once had a lucrative career "connecting" people to their dear departed but a life filled with death took its toll on him and he decided to leave it behind. While those around him consider it a gift, he thinks of it nothing more than a curse.
Marie Lelay (Cecile de France) is a television journalist who survives a near death experience in Thailand during the 2004 Tsunami resulting in her having visions of the afterlife which people around her scoff at. In order to prove her visions not hallucinations she learns a bitter lesson about her life and finds the insight to identify what is genuine and what is a faade.
Marcus (Frankie McLaren) a twelve year old boy has recently lost his twin brother, Jason (George McLaren) who was also the anchor in his otherwise troubled existence. Their mother's a regular drug user who can barely stand up straight to support herself, forget the kids. The story follows Marcus's attempts to come to terms to being on his own.
In addition to their individual tales, their paths do cross at certain intervals to fulfill a role they can in each others lives.
The movie is spiritual in its tone and outlook rather than dramatic or daresay even religious. Usually movies which look at the afterlife tend to offer atleast one bit of serious religious advice or point of view, not so this one. It is least interested in even painting some sort of clear image of the afterlife but more so tantalizing us with simplistic visions which might only be the tip of the iceberg. These work if you are patient and willing to absorb in the story rather than waiting for chills and thrills.
Certain sequences like the opening reconstruction of the Tsunami are brilliantly done. While others like Jason's accident and another involving Marcus in the London Tube station gave me goose bumps.
The movie's main problem is the narrative which touches upon plenty of ideas, theories and situations but fails to flesh them out properly. The conclusion to Marie & George's stories is sweet but far too abrupt & somewhat unreal while Marcuss is the most satisfying emotionally.
The acting by all the leads in utterly convincing with special mention made of Frankie & George McLaren whose first acting gig though not outstanding is pretty solid in setting up the characters individually.
'Hereafter' is a deliberately paced movie which has more than its share of engrossing moments along the way. However those looking for something scary or "supernatural-ly" might be disappointed with its lack of the usual creaky doors and ominous background score.