HEREAFTER…Damon (lead) Eastwood (Director) Spielberg & Marshall (Producers)…2011

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A line of scripture, one that Clint Eastwood no doubt has perused in his day, reads, “…a cord of three strands is not easily broken.” In Eastwood’s recent offering, he slowly braids three threads of storyline, eventually intertwining them, hoping to create a strong and lasting hope in an eternity attainable. The opening sequence recreates the instant inundation of Thailand via tsunami. Tone settles like debris reminding me that when Eastwood nods to or foreshadows some tragedy or sadness, he delivers. He’s not a liar. Rather, his films tell the stark, raw, unapologetic truth. The sad mingles with hope, yet there is a familiar loneliness, a longing most can relate to. Matt Damon succeeds in this role, but even his performance wanes in comparison to the french woman of the film, Cecile De France. Matt Damon at least secures top billing as he makes all seven deliveries of the line, “It’s not a gift. It’s a curse,” feel almost believable and with an air of debonair.

Perhaps Eastwood, becoming what Shakespeare would call “much in years,” has begun pondering his own afterlife. Yes this film provides a thoughtful, researched line of questioning,but it’s slow pacing and neglected payoff provide too faint a glimmer to represent a perceivable light at the end of the tunnel.
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