I went to see HereAfter this afternoon. It was very right - brained. While it didn't have a coherent beginning, middle and end, it wove together three strands of stories and bound them together with the theme of Death and the Other World. And Love unites it all.
Stories are like collective dreams. This is one of the few movies in recent years that deals with the idea of life after death. It seems once a decade some film maker finally makes a movie with the theme of life after death. Each of those movies has offered us a unique vision of that afterlife. Do you remember the movie, What Dreams May Come? Or Ghost?
The opening scene of HereAfter is horrific in its reality, and all throughout the movie, Clint Eastwood somehow creates an atmosphere of 'reality' that contrasts with the uncertainty of the 'other world'. It's a sharp yet subtle contrast.
HereAfter is not a movie that coddles you. Its characters are annoying, heart-breaking and frustrating at times, just like real people. It is a story of how we can reject a spiritual gift by not knowing how to work with it. But also because other people are afraid of it and how it ends up isolating us from life.
The whole topic of death is so often ignored in Western culture, mainly because we split life from death and stepped out of the Wheel of the Year and nature's cycles. The idea that there is a life after death is so obvious to me - look at the trees and plants; look at the moon; look at the circle of the year. The natural cycles of life say there is gestation, birth, growth, maturity, decline and death. Which is always followed by rebirth!
So have hope in what comes after. It will make us less fearful here on Earth.
HereAfter is well worth seeing, although I don't think you'll put it at the top of your favorites list.