Hereafter another Eastwood classic

“Hereafter” manages to do something that is very rare in filmdom, and that is to explore our concepts of the afterlife without trying to present any conclusions.  It’s a movie that makes you wonder, which may or may not mean that it’s a wonderful movie, but in this case it really is.

Directed by Clint Eastwood with the still-amazing depth and insight that he has brought to other films, “Hereafter” is a far cry from most of the other work he’s done.  This film is involved with the afterlife, but without superficial or sentimental undertones that could have swamped the whole thing.

Three main characters are very loosely woven into the plot. Matt Damon is an unwilling psychic who can touch another person and communicate with lost loved ones. Cecile de France is Marie LeLay, a French journalist whose survival of the 2004 tsunami (vividly and appallingly re-enacted in the movie) has changed her outlook entirely.  Frankie McLaren and his real life brother, George, play a British boy and his twin brother who was lost to violent death.

Though the ending is less than perfect, the substance is powerful, and besides, the movie isn’t saying, “This is the end.”