Movie Review – Hereafter

The previews of Matt Damon’s new movie, “Hereafter“, sent me mixed messages.  At first, I thought it was a thriller of some kind and my reaction was, “no way”!  Then, the more I saw and heard of it, the more I was intrigued by it.  You see, I have a curiosity about the after life and angels and whether or not our loved ones continue to surround us with love and guidance after they have gone.  So, once it was obvious it was more about that sort of thing and less about something that was intended to shock or scare me, I really wanted to see it……a LOT!!!  I hoped for a story that would give me more to think about and perhaps enhance or validate some of my beliefs.  Yeah, I knew it would be “just a movie” and that it wouldn’t offer any scientific proof, but, come on — if writers (who hopefully did some research to provide some substance to their fiction) tell stories that align with my beliefs, then I can’t be alone in believing in them!  Right?  I really hoped this movie would give me some of that — I really wanted to like it and to leave with my head filled with thoughts and questions and wonder!!!!

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen!  Oh, the story was good, but it was really quite ordinary……and extremely S…L…O…W!  The opening scenes where the French reporter is caught up in a tsunami and experiences death before she is revived and the English boy whose twin is killed are the only scenes that had any life to them at all (pardon the play on words).  But, that isn’t what I wanted to experience!  The rest of the movie was how they reacted to their experience…..and it was mostly boring!!!  Matt Damon’s character goes through the entire movie avoiding his abilities, calling them a curse, and not talking about his experiences other than to say that it was a burden and that he had no desire to put himself through it anymore.  Aside from the French reporter having visions of shadowy people all around her while she was unconscious and the English boy having an incident where losing his hat causes him to avoid being on a subway that blows up (you know right off that it must have been the brother who knocked the hat off, but are supposed to be surprised when it is revealed later in a reading), there is no more insight into the hereafter — just how those who briefly experienced it felt about it.

On the other hand, it was a good story and a good ending!  If I hadn’t gone in with such a specific idea of what I wanted to get out of it and such a high expectation, maybe I would have liked it……except for the slow, low-keyed way it was told.  I don’t know…….thinking back on it, I am really not sure if I let my expectations spoil it for me or if I would have had the same BLAH attitude even without the disappointment.  I am torn.

So — I did raise the point value for the basic story that was told — it was good and had the potential to be interesting, if it had been told better.  But, the boring nature of the way it was told really weighed heavily on my rating – as did the disappointment I felt about it not delivering what I really wanted to get out of it.  I give it a C overall.  Save it for Neflix!

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