Just when I was ready to watch a fabulous movie, other than Paranormal Activity 2, I decide to go and see, “Hereafter.” What a mistake! I want my money back!!
With all the hype and the beautifully wonderful special effects shown on the television screen and with a theme that definitely interested me, I thought, wow, Clint Eastwood went there? I mean, Clint Eastwood has never gone to such depths before in discussing death and dying. I wanted to know more. I wanted to see more. And, to think that he has Matt Damon playing a role that kinda reminded me of his role in “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” how could the movie lose? It did lose. And big time! From the start, George Lonnegan, played by Matt Damon, gives up a life of helping others understand how their departed are getting along in the hereafter. He gives it up because he considers it “a curse.” Problems arise with the movie as Marie LeLay, played by Cecile De France, a french character in the movie dies and sees just a glimmer of the hereafter before being pulled back to life – after being considered dead by those who try to revive her after a tsunami. The movie lags as Marie fails or cannot bring herself to ask the pertinent questions she needs to fulfill her quest of death and dying. Marie’s character should have been able to develop some contact with the other side, since she actually did go there…no matter how brief her stay. Because of her short stint in the hereafter, Marie really should not have been able to write a book entitled the same as the movie, “Hereafter.” Marie LeLay, I suppose, was Clint Eastwood’s focal point of the movie.
George seems to pick and choose those he wants to do a psychic reading for. When his brother, Jay Mohr, brings his boss to George’s home for a reading, George is reluctant to do so – but he does it for his brother. There was no pay involved. But, when Jennifer Lewis arrives, willing to pay for a moment to speak with her child, George closes the door to her. Even after telling George that she was told of him by his brother’s boss. As the movie continues to drag, Bryce Dallas Howard‘s role becomes even more annoying as a troubled woman who has escaped another make-believe life for a new life in California. Although the movie does not come right out and says this, I got the sense that Bryce’s character stalked George to the evening cooking class he attended just to get close enough to him for a reading. She made me think that she already knew him. As she pestered, she got the answer she was looking for – and did not like it. The most sympathetic I could be of any of the characters went to a young twin, Frankie McLaren, whose brother died when he was hit by a car. Frankie seeks the assistance of George Lonnegan to learn of his brother in the hereafter. Cheesy! The way George relates to the young boy not only bored me but it infuriated me. He kept calling Frankie, “kid,” even when he knew his name was Marcus. I felt that George could have spoken more to Marcus as I really felt Marcus’s brother, Justin, had a lot more to say or to tell him about his new place. The most touching revelation of Justin being with Marcus in the here and now was when Marcus’s hat flew off just as he was about to board the tram. Luckily, Marcus’s escapade to retrieve his cap had him miss that tram only to see it explode moments later after take off. George revealed to Marcus that it was Justin who blew the hat off (because the hat belonged to Justin) – not because he knew the tram would explode.
Aside from all that, why does every story have to be of a love story? There really was no reason for “Hereafter” to have a love story. It just didn’t make sense. Even though George was lonely and felt like he needed someone in his life to relate to, the pairing with De France was just too contrived. Upon listening to LeLay read from her book, George becomes enamoured with LeLay and supposedly the two click – after George touches her hand and discovers that she was in a pool of water. I wanted more from this movie…just like I wanted George to give more to Marcus. It was really Marcus who got LeLay and George together (so the movie goes). George was just trying to relax and take it easy and accept whatever was going to come his way. In the end, maybe LeLay will help George fully develop his talent for pay in London. He did, after all, abandon his brother’s efforts to start-up a business with him in the states.
This really should have been a much better movie. I don’t feel like I learned anything about the hereafter after watching this movie. Very disappointing.