Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Matt Damon, Cecile De France, Bryce Dallas Howard
Plot: Three people – an American blue collar worker, a French journalist and an English schoolboy – are each affected by death in different ways.
Shoehorning a fictional story around a real historical event is a very tempting idea for a scriptwriter.
James Cameron’s Titanic proves that it can be done – creating a story which can captivate a huge audience whilst conveying the main event in all its glory. Pearl Harbor and Remember Me are two examples of how this can fall very flat indeed.
Hereafter features not one but two significant world events: the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004, followed by the London 7/7 bombings just over six months later. The story jumps from one character to the next (generally Paris, San Francisco and London), without really giving us enough time to get under their skin – except for Marcus, a London schoolboy, whose tragic tale is easily the most affecting.
Matt Damon and Cecile De France play their characters well enough, but after an exhilarating opening, the plot peters out into a melancholic tone which clashes with the set up. Hereafter is decent entertainment, but after one too many European clichés, its appeal begins to wane.