A drama centered on three people who are haunted by mortality in different ways. George Lonegan (Matt Damon) is a blue-collar American who has a special connection to the afterlife. On the other side of the world, French journalist, Marie Lelay (Cécile de France) has a near-death experience which shakes her reality, and when London schoolboy Marcus (identical twins Frankie McLaren and George McLaren) loses the person closest to him, he desperately needs answers. Each looking to understand the one thing all life has in common, but can never share, their lives will cross, changed by what they believe might, or must, exist in the hereafter.Written by
Warner Bros. Pictures
Shipped to theaters under the title "Heaven's Playground". See more »
When Marcus is watching YouTube videos, the two videos he clicks on show the same number of views as well as the same video description. See more »
Sometimes, I mean you know, knowing everything about someone, uhhh, its, uh, it seems nice, but really, maybe it's-it's actually better to hold stuff back.
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The mid 80s-late 90s Warner Bros. shield is used (in black and white) at the beginning of the movie and at the end of the credits. The same Warner Bros. Shield is used alongside the Amblin logo, also in black-and-white. See more »
Here and now, not much hereafter or memorable material
After what I consider one of most amazing tsunami sequences in a film ever and a near-death experience, one might be inclined to think other spectacular scenes would follow. Such is not the case. Hereafter is a rather intimate drama following 3 parallel stories involving death. We don't spend really any time in the afterlife except the short glimpses near the start. It might be better called "Here and now". You have the famous French journalist involved in the tsunami (parts actually in French), the psychic with real powers who doesn't want to do it anymore (Matt Damon) and twins who suffer a tragedy. So, I would have liked seeing the "afterlife" explored or explained, but I was disappointed there. The near-death experience angle, scientific or spiritual, was also basically overlooked, another disappointment. What Dreams May Come or Flatliners, this film definitely isn't.
The movie had a few nice moments (such as the visit of the different "psychics"), but overall it felt disjointed, and the 3-way structure made the stories less developed and compelling. In fact, the story with the French was the one I cared the least for (despite having French as my first language) and the story arc with the twins was undermined somewhat by their limited acting ability (very inexpressive most of the time). The story arc with Matt Damon, I enjoyed the most and would have almost preferred if the film had focused exclusively on him. I could definitely relate to his performance of a good, very lonely man who was hurt by life. The highlights to me were whenever the redhead woman (played wonderfully by Bryce Dallas Howard) was interacting with him. Even though not much usually happened, it was riveting and I rooted for them. In fact, I would definitely pair them up in another romantic movie. I wasn't particularly moved where I should have been moved except for a thing involving Bryce's character. I didn't hate watching Hereafter, but I wasn't particularly impressed either (except for the tsunami scene). For such a rich subject, it could have been done much better even while evacuating most of the fantastical element, like here.
Rating: 6 out of 10 (good)
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