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Hereafter: Beautiful, Thought-Provoking Eastwood Drama

  • Bryce Dallas HowardCécile De France...
  • Drama
  • Out now
  • Clint Eastwood
reviewed by
Omar Atef
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Hereafter: Beautiful, Thought-Provoking Eastwood Drama

Hereafter revolves around three different
individuals whose lives are connected by death and the afterlife:
French journalist (De France) has a near-death experience, a young British boy
(George and Frankie McLaren) loses his brother in a tragic accident, and
George Lonegan (Damon) has supernatural abilities: he can communicate with the

to a solid and magnificent start, Hereafter’s
plot gives you a proper introduction to each and every character with enough time to become fascinated by their stories. Marie Lelay (De France) is among numerous victims who try to
survive a deadly typhoon that flooded the streets of Thailand. The rushing of
water destroys everything in its path, with hundreds of casualties, and the
intensity of meeting death within seconds. This scene alone was nominated for
an Oscar for Best Achievement in Visual Effects.

the story turns to George Lonegan (Damon), a man who’s haunted by his ability
to communicate with the dead. Damon gives a great performance by showing the
struggles and the burden of such a gift: it can be a blessing at times, but at
other times it’s a dreadful curse that he tries to escape from. This really
shows when his love interest Melanie (Howard) insists on witnessing his
so-called gift, even though he is obviously against it.

third and final story involves twin brothers who live in London with their clearly
irresponsible mother. Though child services are constantly on the family’s
back, the death of one of the brothers makes matters even worse. Both
of the McLaren brothers give a remarkable performance that could simply put other
famous young talents to shame, such as Haley Joel Osment.

the direction of the remarkable and acclaimed Clint Eastwood, Hereafter is indeed a rich production in
all its aspects. The film has great cinematography, profound acting,
and a moving musical score that fits perfectly with the picture – the score is
also composed by Eastwood himself.

the scenes filmed in Paris are presented in French as the spoken language, which
is a respected and more professional attempt to make the scene more authentic,
even if it might annoy audiences seeking subtitles. Director Quentin Tarantino used
a similar technique in his recent hit Inglorious
, which was shot mainly in German, French and Italian with very
little English.

Hereafter is a well-made film with a
powerful spiritual message that will compel audiences to think. The film may
not be Eastwood’s best, but it’s definitely among his highlighted achievements
and comes highly recommended.

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The film was removed from theatres everywhere in Japan after the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit in March 2011.

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