Hereafter seems a bit of a weird choice for both Clint Eastwood to want to direct and for Matt Damon to want to star in. But the fact is, if it wasn’t for theses two, Hereafter would never have graced my BluRay player.
The film starts off with two lovers coming to the end of their holiday, the guy wanting just 30 minutes longer in bed and the woman deciding that someone has to be responsible enough to get gifts for his kids. Whilst his wife is in town exploring the markets, the guy is roused from his slumber by a roaring sound and he gets up just in time to see a tsunami engulf the resort. We quickly cut to the low lying markets and see the massive wave as it sweeps through town. His lover tries to outrun it, but is swept away in dramatic fashion and we follow her struggle with the torrent of water, until we finally witness what we think is her death and the crossing over to the other side. Along the totally Hollywood tsunami ride, we figure out the story is based on the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. This won’t be the only time the story tries to anchor itself in the reality of historic events.
The woman who turns out to be a high flying French journalist is rescued and bought back to life and eventually finds her man alive and well. But she is only one third of the story. Matt turns out to be a real psychic (not one of these fake ones, which the film also exposes) who has turned his back on his ‘gift,’ and the final part of the tale is a young boy in London who is lost after the death of his twin brother.
Without going into too many details, the film suggests that the three will have to meet so that they can help each other over come the recent obstacles that are hampering there ability to continue to really live. And through jumping back and forth between these three individual, but somehow connected stories the film weaves it’s sedate way to a conclusion that is predictable and too long in coming.
If you believe in the whole psychic ability thing, then the film will be filled with many moments that will amaze you (because Matt’s character really can communicate with the dead), but if you’re a bit of a cynic like me, it’s all pretty ho-hum. Matt does embrace his role as the tormented soul with a degree of passion, delivering a performance that at times is almost worth watching the film for.
For the most part however, this isn’t a film that I would recommend for fans of either Clint or Matt, you’ll come away disappointed.
Reviewed by: Jonathan