Saturday, August 16, 2014
Directed & Music By: Clint Eastwood
Written By: Peter Morgan
Cinematography By: Tom Stern
Editor: Joel Cox & Gary Roach
Cast: Ceclile De France, Matt Damon, Jay Mohr, Bryce Dallas Howard, Richard Kind, Frankie McLaren, George McLaren, Steve Schirripa, Jenifer Lewis
A drama centered on three people who are 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. And when Marcus , a London schoolboy, loses the person 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.
The film focuses on the way in which actually having a natural gift or being special can be more of a burden and alienating more than a gift.
For a film that involves a disaster. It is shocking that after awhile it becomes more like a dramatic love story. As it seems like each story has coincidences like all the relationships that occur in the film. All happened not at random, but more or less to bring the characters together specially the adult two. To fall in love as someone who has experience as can understand each other's burdens.
The script at the time was very buzzed about and it was surrounded in mystery until the film premiered.
The film hammers home the points quite loudly, while trying to be subtle. Especially Matt Damon's character knowing secrets before people are ready to reveal them to him and how awkward and uncomfortable it can be. His almost romance and his revealing of the secrets he already knows about her is a particular standout.
The opening is startling and amazing as we watch not only as a tsunami hits, but also what it is like to be caught in one. It is one hell of an opening. (The only part of the film THE IMPOSSIBLE felt like it was missing) I wish the rest of the film Was that exciting. Instead the rest is left up to circumstance and characters. Where it builds towards some great scenes and moments. That just feel awfully convenient a lot of the time.
I think the film is fine, though I wonder what it could have been had it fallen into more talented hands. As the film is more sentimental and seems like it would have been a slam dunk in the hands of a sentimentalist like Steven Spielberg. With Clint Eastwood directing he makes it more down to earth and small scale. Though it also feels rushed. While it's nice to see Mr. Eastwood stretching to a degree with his material. It still doesn't dazzle like it should.
The British boy's tale is a good story though it feels only there to bring the other two together and give an example of how the afterlife can guide and save you to a degree if you leave yourself open to it. Plus a chance for the film to debunk and show the tricks and trade of false mediums. It is the only part of the film that feels a little too cute and designed to pull on the audiences heart strings. Though allows a distraction from the other two stories so it gives them time before coming together.
Several biographies describe how Clint Eastwood was stranded offshore in the ocean several days after his Navy training plane crashed. The experience is probably what helped him film the tsunami scene in Hereafter.
Clint Eastwood described "Hereafter" as "...three different stories with people who have gone through some sort of stressful time and it's about how they sort of converge together. Much like a lot of French movies have been in the past, where the stories kind of converge together, and destiny drives each person towards the other
I would think to be a medium is that you must not only prepare for it, but be willing to give up your own identity to help other communicate to lost ones. Who can only communicate through you. Most peoples only interest is in what you can do for them never you. In with that aspect could have been explored more.
Matt Damon gives a superb performance that makes the audience fall for him as all of the mediums who take money turn out to be fakes. He doesn't want to take payments. He doesn't even want most people to know about his gift. Also he is also very lonely and a bit of a romantic. Who is somewhat damaged and shy. His most powerful scene is when he has a date with a perspective partner and he actually can tell her about her past, by being able to contact her father in the afterlife. Managing a communication that dooms his relationship with her.
For a time it seemed that Matt Damon would be unable to appear in the film due to his commitment to THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU so he suggested to Clint Eastwood to consider Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Hayden Christensen or Josh Brolin in his place. Instead, Eastwood was able to adjust the filming schedule so that Damon could appear in both films.
Though the film is huge in scope. The film is a nice little story. Though not one I would expect Clint Eastwood to gravitate to. Here he shows his more sensitive side instead of his usual rustic. Though it lacks any obvious style that you only become aware of the style that this using more around the middle of the film. The film does have a feel and feelings behind it.
Sure the film is melodramatic, but at least it allows the melodrama to be covered in a story that could be interesting even without it.
I guess from the preview and the more I think about the film. I thought the film should have felt more like a Portishead song. A sense of longing with a aftermath feeling of bits of joy, about mostly sorrow. Instead it feels like a song that begins dark and sad that slowly gets here full as it goes along. Haunting is how you should feel watching it, you more feel solid and a bit sold out by the end of the film
It has a great musical score. I liked it so much I picked up the cd for myself.