As a star and a director, Clint Eastwood has had a relationship with death for years. In his acclaimed recent films, he explored the effect of death on the living in Mystic River and the need to die with honor in Gran Torino. In Hereafter, Eastwood looks at what life may be like after death.
“We don’t know what’s on the other side, but on this side it’s final,” he says. “People have their beliefs … but those are all hypotheticals. Nobody knows until you get there.”
And in that spirit, Eastwood has crafted a film that raises questions viewers will be discussing long after the credits have stopped rolling.
Filmed in California, Hawaii, England and France, the film looks at three separate stories — a boy who loses a twin brother in an accident, a woman who survives a near death experience in a tsunami, and a man who can hear the voices of the dead.
“Death touches the three characters in this film in ways most people don’t experience,” says producer Robert Lorenz. “But, in one way or another, we can all relate to the core emotions of the story-love, loss, loneliness and connection. These are things we all experience.”
Matt Damon, who stars in the film, agrees, saying, “The point isn’t to sit there and be a lonely nihilist. The point is to reach out to the other people that are here on the planet with you. And I think that’s ultimately a very life-affirming message.”
The message is moving, but as the film’s trailer suggests, also thrilling — the film was nominated for an Oscar for best special effects.
“Hereafter″ is now showing on Video On Demand. Check your cable system for availability.
© 2011 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Credit: Ken Regan