(M) Paramount DVD/BD

Are you afraid of dying? Many are, due to not knowing what to expect on “the other side”.

The most recent film directed by cinema legend Clint Eastwood threatens to explore the inevitable transition from life to death but, sadly, Hereafter is a disappointingly vague drama.

Needlessly progressing through three separate yet loosely related stories, Eastwood’s unconvincing amble only perks up when it focuses upon loner George (Matt Damon), who has psychic abilities.

His supernatural skills place him in a position envied by others, yet George yearns to live without any direct contact with the dead.

Such rich material for existential investigation dries up quickly, as screenwriter Peter Morgan (The Queen) takes us to the precipice of mortality and, steadily, offers nothing but shrugged shoulders about what comes next.

Religious, scientific and “spiritual” answers to the hereafter are presented without detail, ensuring no particular viewpoint is satisfyingly represented.

All told, then, Hereafter is disturbing for its underlying suggestion that there is no way of knowing anything about life after death.

Morgan and Eastwood should have referred to the recorded words of Jesus Christ who, as outlined in John 14, explicitly explains what awaits his followers once they’ve taken their last breath.

Ben McEachen


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