1080 views 1 comment


by on March 13, 2011
Editor Rating
Total Yaps


Hover To Rate
User Rating
Total Yaps


You have rated this


“Hereafter” was one of my most anticipated films of 2010. Clint Eastwood has proven to be a very interesting director as he tries out different projects with an old-school professionalism. Peter Morgan has written some of the best scripts in recent years with “The Queen,” “Frost/Nixon” and “The Damned United.” Matt Damon is one of the few Hollywood stars who still takes risks in his performances. The subject matter is even about the afterlife and what it all means. This should be gold, but instead it’s bronze.

Continuing the neverending trend of having “surprisingly” connecting storylines,”Hereafter” follows three different people dealing with grief in their own ways.

Damon is a retired psychic who couldn’t handle dealing with death every day. His brother (Jay Mohr) wants him to get back into it because there is money to be made and he thinks his brother has a gift. Yet Damon still insists…I can’t believe he says it twice…that it’s a curse.  So he is trying to have a “normal life” (Another overused phrase) by going to cooking classes where he meets the perky Bryce Dallas Howard.

Meanwhile, Cécile De France was one of the survivors of a terrible (and incredibly cinematic) tsunami. She returns to France to resume her job as a journalist but becomes obsessed about image she had during the catastrophe. She can’t focus on politics anymore but starts to investigate the community who believes in an afterlife.

Finally there is Marcus, a young British boy, who is trying to get over the loss of his identical twin brother. He wants more answers about what happened to him, spiritually.

The only story that is really compelling is the one starring De France because that feels the most original. The smaller details about her television journalistic career worked, especially when it clashed with her theological queries. However, every story seems to meander with all of its scenes and never surprises anyone with where it is going.

With its title, it seems like there would be a bit of discussion with the afterlife. From one of its earliest scenes, it declares this is what it will be like and then nothing new is added aside from vague descriptions. It’s not comforting because it’s never sold to the audience.

When everything comes together because it has to, it doesn’t feel satisfying because there isn’t anything that drives these characters. What did I want to happen to them? Most of Eastwood’s films are focused on the plot moving things forward. When it is just the characters, like “Flags of Our Fathers,” his films seem to be without focus. With all of its lingering shots of characters just looking and pauses for reflection, there’s not enough content to make them meaningful.

The Blu-Ray and DVD have a lot of great bonus features. There is a lot of footage looking at how they made this movie, including the horrifying tsunami and how they handled those effects. There is also an extended feature length version of “The Eastwood Factor,” a documentary covering Eastwood’s entire career and narrated by Morgan Freeman. Both of these are really well made and worth checking out.

Film: 3 Yaps
Extras: 4 5 Yaps