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A Glimpse of Afterlife: Hereafter Movie review

Opening my year with my first taste of drama flick is Clint Eastwood's Hereafter. I got a mixed first impression about the film when I first saw its trailer in the cinema months ago. At first I thought it was a horror/thriller because of the ghosts and afterlife elements.  Then on some background check, I found out that it is a drama and Clint Eastwood is directing it.  I become more confused when on subsequent trailers, scenes with Matt Damon doing psychic readings are becoming more dominant.  Finally, I saw the film few weeks ago and now everything becomes clearer.

Hereafter tells three stories of three non-related people who deals with life changing events, one barely survived a raging force of nature, another one who lost a brother on an accident and lastly one who wants to live a normal life despite of his extraordinary gift that he considers a curse.   As the characters go through there own lives adapting on the changes and pains of recent events, they slowly discover life's mysteries and find ways to cross paths and accept their inevitable fate.

I enjoy watching Hereafter just the way I enjoy all Clint Eastwood film. The movie talks about a supernatural plot without being too fancy. The dramatic side of the film is stronger that its fantasy side. In most movie who tackles the same premise, you will be more interested about the supernatural aspect of the film (in this movie Damon's Psychic abilities) but with Eastwood's Hereafter, you will be more interested on how the characters cope with their own everyday predicaments. Rather than a "Sixth Sense" type of film, Hereafter is more of a study of human condition.

It also has the scariest tsunami scene ever created on film.  The last time I saw a tsunami in movies is in the film "2012".  Mostly this kind of scene is shown on a wide angle shot.  It gives you a bigger picture of the disaster and the destruction.  But in Hereafter, the Tsunami shots are up close and personal.  You can see the transition of real actors being washed away to CGI doubles.  As I witness this horrific scene, I can't help myself but feel horrified of how mother nature's wrath explode.

Everyone on the film did a fairly good job on their respective roles.  Matt Damon had proven again his worth as a dramatic actor while it is my first time to see Cecile de France on a movie, I have difficulties appreciating her performance because of the language barrier. In connection to that, 30% of the film is on French so if you are the type who hates reading subtitles (like me) then I just gave you a heads up.

There is no doubt that Hereafter is a film that deserves to be watched. A movie with a unique interpretation on glimpse of afterlife and communication to the dead.  Definitely another addition to Eastwood's brilliant collection of works.  Now showing on all theaters, “Hereafter” is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

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