Film & TV

'Hereafter' serves character-driven drama

Clint Eastwood creates another stunning drama with the stories of three people and their experiences with death and the “Hereafter.”

The film opens with a powerful scene as a tsunami decimates a city. Marie LeLay (Cecile De France), a reporter on vacation, survives the disaster but is heavily shaken by her brush with death.

Eastwood follows up with another intense scene as Marcus (Frankie McLaren) and his twin brother Jason (George McLaren) struggle with their mother who is addicted to drugs and battling with child services.

Psychic George Lonegan (Matt Damon) struggles with being normal after being endowed with the ability to communicate with the dead.

While the plot is slow and the film is long, the impact of the characters and how they connect flows without interruption.

Filmed on location in France, London and San Francisco, no scene is without meaning or intent. Eastwood’s direction complements the plot of the film as the three characters’ dramas intertwine.

Their drama digs deep with a visceral connection to each of their problems and fears.

Like most other Eastwood films, “Hereafter” has subtle undertones about race and religion as it connects with death and society. The cinematography of the film puts the audience in each character’s point of view by examining their reactions to events and keeping the camera close.

The acting in this film is wonderfully done. De France’s character had the most depth, and she portrayed it well without being overly dramatic. Damon displays his character’s tension well, but his performance was a bit weak in comparison to some of his other films.

“Hereafter” is an impressive character-driven drama that is well worth seeing in theaters.

This film is for fans of:  “Million Dollar Baby,” “Gran Torino,” “Crash,” “Babel”

Rating:  4 out of 5 stars

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