Hereafter': Matt Damon talks to dead people

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Hereafter': Matt Damon talks to dead people
Hereafter': Matt Damon talks to dead people

Is there life after death? Who didn't want to know? Clint Eastwood explores this question in a multifaceted way in his new drama 'Hereafter', lets Matt Damon talk to the dead and Cécile de France almost drowns in the tsunami. But Eastwood doesn't bring his two stars together until the very end, because 'Hereafter' is a classic anthology, albeit limited to three storylines.

There is the successful TV journalist Marie, who was washed off the streets of Indonesia by the tsunami at Christmas 2004. Unconscious under water, she experiences a vision as many have reported before her: white light, a feeling of weightlessness, waiting, shadowy figures. Then she will be saved, but nothing in her life will be the same again. Back in Paris, the tough moderator tries to continue working straight away, but she soon realizes that she has to process the serious events first. She begins to get to the bottom of the phenomenon of near-death experiences, which alienates many people.

Eastwood doesn't get much more specific in depicting the supernatural. What Matt Damon as the seer George Lonegan actually perceives when he touches the hands of his fellow human beings, the viewer only learns from the actor's mouth. Only one type of electrical charge is shown. The man at the other end of the world in San Francisco claims that the dead speak to him. He used to make a business out of it, today he labors as a simple worker in industry because knowing too much about other people was a burden to him. George dreams of a normal life with a normal girl, but when he meets the lonely Melanie in a cooking class, he experiences his 'gift' once again as a curse.

The actors are particularly convincing in Clint Eastwood's film about the tsunami

The little schoolboy Marcus in London would give anything for such a skill, having just lost his twin brother Jason. How he would like to know if Jason lives on on the other side. The son of a drug addict who is also being deported to a foster family urgently needs his better half right now - or maybe just someone to talk to about death…

Laconic and yet with an increasing pull effect, Clint Eastwood directs the story developed by Peter Morgan, the screenwriter of 'Frost/Nixon' and 'The Queen'. He also elegantly designed the locations of the film to look different, but still makes the whole thing appear as if it were made of one piece. Luckily for the material, which could easily drift into esoteric kitsch, he relies entirely on the power of his cast.

Not only Matt Damon as a driven seer and Cécile de France as a shaken power woman do their job well, but above all the child actors, who are also twins in real life, and Ron Howard's daughter Bryce Dallas, who hasn't really was noticed as a character actress. When it comes to the effects, Eastwood is cautious and puts all his effort into the masses of water from the tsunami, which can be seen as digital, but which can certainly keep up with the tidal wave from 'The Day After Tomorrow'. A shortcoming is certainly that none of the characters are really suitable for identification or deep sympathy, but maybe you don't really want that with a topic like this. Because 'Hereafter' is already so dark that if you already have dark thoughts, don't really listen to it.

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