I think Clint Eastwood is a genius as a director. I loved Hereafter but it’s not at all what you think it’s going to be. Nothing heavy-handed from this guy.
Eastwood doesn’t underestimate his viewer. This movie is not difficult, but it’s deep and rich both visually and auditorily. You see incredible beauty. You see despair. You see things vaguely, yet clearly. You hear Dickens, then you see why he matters. You see incredible, people, some fascinating, not especially beautiful, but fascinating, and acting incredibly. You hear such understatement. French is spoken at length by beautiful, accomplished people, English by a beautiful, poor, broken little family in terrible distress, all to be tied in a strange and seamless way. Only a couple of times I thought things could have been done less awkwardly, but I didn’t know how.
Eastwood makes his many statements throughout maybe only once and expects you to remember them and build on them. If you don’t, no problem, but if you do, great beauty comes of it.
He gives abundant visual clues and cues that you can learn from and build on, some from beyond, some binding humans through the beyond some indicating caring from beyond and some indicating vestiges from beyond that linger from the past. It’s wild.
The woman takes the hand of a child, a father grieves from beyond, a twin brother instructs his brother acting both humanly, childishly and also angelically, a doctor/scientist informs with just a line in a hospital making a huge difference, a vision appears and reappears, the kiss from the future, and phony clairvoyants are outed. You almost feel you are watching your own thoughts happen.
The sheer beauty of the movie is enough to draw you along though the movie is very slow in its progression. Though little is known about much, much is indicated to drive thought about everyone and everything. Just like life and the hereafter. It’s beautiful. I’m going to see it again. It’s that much.