The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie Review-Hereafter

By Joshua Knopp/entertainment editor

Clint Eastwood is normally can’t miss, but Hereafter fails to strike any particular chord.

The film is told in three narratives. The first follows French reporter and TV personality Marie Lelay (Cécile de France) as she attempts to write about her near-death experience and her memories of the afterlife.

The second is about retired psychic George Lonegan (Matt Damon), who developed the ability to commune with a person’s deceased loved ones after brain surgery as a young boy. He does not want to use this ability as he has become unable to cope with the emotional burdens of the entire world.

The final story chronicles Marcus’ search for his dead twin, Jason (Frankie and George McLaren), through the various psychics of England. The three stories eventually converge, and the characters each provide what another was looking for.

The concept of the movie is quite thoughtful. Each of the character concepts has extreme romantic potential.

Lonegan is made particularly important within the movie by Marcus’ journey through the world of modern psychics, during which he is told anything between his dead father wanting him to take care of his mother and his being able to see Jason in the mirror if he tried (he couldn’t — even though they were identical twins).

Eastwood’s directorial style dominates Hereafter. Dialogue is the main event here with plucky acoustic guitar often alone in the background. It’s a matter of taste that it comes off as relaxing though the style is better placed in a clearer-cut drama such as Gran Torino or Unforgiven.

Writer Peter Morgan noted that this particular script was quite malleable to any given director. As such, a director with a less distinctive style probably would have been able to focus the story a little more.

With Eastwood at the helm, the movie just doesn’t come off as beautifully as it seems to think it does. Being compared to The Sixth Sense on the basis of subject matter is accurate, but that’s all the films have in common. Even being called a “chick flick” is too much as Hereafter doesn’t have the happy romance required for that genre.

Eastwood receives no help from his actors. De France is dull on screen, and the McLaren brothers make the fact that they’ve never been in an acting class quite apparent. Even Damon, who Eastwood re-scheduled the shooting of the film for, is lifeless.

Perhaps with better acting or a more urgent feel from the director, Hereafter would work, but with the current combination, the entire film is flatter than the top of a coffin.

Final Take: A thoughtful concept executed with excruciating boredom

Those who would enjoy it: People who’ve lost loved ones, people fed up with real “psychics”

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