Although we liked it, I can see where some people might not like the film style of Hereafter.
It is done sort of like the Crash film - jumping back and forth from multiple stories threaded through the film with locations in San Francisco, France and England. The part of the film set in France is subtitled and subtitles seems to annoy some, but personally did not find it distracting.
Now to the story, without spoilers.
Although the previews and trailer seem to indicate this is Matt Damon’s film and is just about some ability he has to communicate with the dead, that is misleading. All three stories get fairly equal weight, and they are three different views, so to speak, of the hereafter. The stories mesh somewhat in the end, and despite some negative reviews that say there is not a concrete ending, tied up pretty in a bow, I would disagree. The individual story lines are indeed wrapped up, though not exactly tied up with that pretty bow. It leaves you with something to think about, even if there is no real “aha!” moment that will make you dash out into the streets eagerly waiting the Rapture.
I liked the film a lot, but didn’t love it.
I think some of the concepts and theories of life after death were interesting, but not sure I am buying into it. Correction: I think it is safe to say I don’t really believe any of them although I know there has been some research that says it might be true.
The film does not preach any specific religion, but does indicate there is a hereafter.
Great film for discussion - take a friend or two and plan on having a chat after the film over coffee or a few beers - but take your own car so you can ditch them and drive home when the discussion starts to turn into a religious debate.
I kind of liked it, though it was a tad slow and meandering, and it didn’t have much of a real conclusion other than the three main characters randomly converging.
I didn’t quite get why Damon let his brother rent the office if he wasn’t intending to use it.
The tsunami scene was spectacular. For some reason, the subway scene was the one that made me tear up.
I don’t quite get this. There seem to be a lot of threads on the IMDB page too with opinions one way or the other about life after death. But I didn’t get any sense that you are supposed to agree or disagree with this aspect of the movie. It’s fiction. In fiction, the premise is more or less taken as given and not really the kind of thing you are supposed to debate. It’s kind of like watching Superman and then getting into an argument about whether superheroes really exist. I really don’t get where people are coming from. They are treating it like it’s a documentary.
Although I would agree that it is fiction, Clint Eastwood (and others) mention in interviews that the premise of these hereafter stories are based upon near-death accounts by many people. Thus, you can (and probably should) just see the film as a piece of fiction, many are taking it a step further to consider the validity of those near-death accounts and speculating upon those ideas and concepts.
I saw it yesterday and I enjoyed it. On the way out I heard people complaining that it was so. I can understand that criticism, but I was engrossed in the story. It took me away from my mundane world for a couple of hours, and that’s all I can ask from any movie. The tsunami effects were really well done–I wondered at the time what it must have been like, and I think the surprise, shock and horror were well portrayed.