Friday, July 8, 2011

Hereafter (2010)


From the publicity for the film, you would think that Hereafter is an exploration of the afterlife, an attempt to answer the question: is there anything after death? In fact, it is nothing like that at all.

What we do get is a very emotional look at three separate stories that in ever more typical Hollywood fashion come together in the end.

First we have a French journalist who is in Thailand at the time of the devastating Tsunami. In fact, she is caught up in the wave and dies for a short period of time. After she returns home—lucky to be alive—her perfect life changes. She is unable to cope with the experience she had, and more importantly, what she “experienced” while she was clinically dead. She begins to investigate and discovers that scientific observation has long since proven that something is out there, it is simply being covered up.

Meanwhile, in England, a pair of twins are struggling to stay together in the care of their drug addicted mother. Just as things are looking up, one of them is hit by a car and killed, while he is on the phone with his brother. Needless to say, the boy is impacted emotionally. He starts seeking the answer to that pesky question. Pointedly, wacky-hateful-extremists and people who believe in Jesus are singled out as people who have to be wrong.

All the while, in San Francisco, a man is cursed with the ability to communicate with dead people. When he touches anyone, he is put in contact with their dead relatives. This is shown to be a curse because he learns too much about people, and as we all must assume, no friendship can develop between people unless they are allowed to slowly reveal and discover things about each other.

Climactically, (or let-downedly if you prefer) the three end up in the same place. The boy gets to hear from his dead brother (who does not really want to talk) and our psychic finally gets to find potential love. You see, since the French woman already died, when he touches her he just sees her dead in the water.

Or something like that.

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