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Movie Review: Special Thanks To Clint Eastwood, Matt Damon, Peter Morgan
& Steven Spielberg For Getting It Right
by Bob Olson
(founder of OfSpirit.com Magazine, BestPsychicMediums.com &
My wife, Melissa, and I saw the movie Hereafter this past weekend and I
must say we loved it. Iíll even admit that we saw it a second time the
next night, which is entirely out of character for us. But thereís
something about this movie that inspired us to want to see it again.
Hereafter, the movie, stars Matt Damon, was directed and produced by Clint
Eastwood (also produced by Steven Spielberg), and was written by Peter
Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon). With a lineup like that, you expect
itís going to be a good movie. But itís important to know what this is
movie is and is not about before you see it, which is why Iíve written
Hereafter IS a movie about death and the afterlife. It tells three
stories: one of a psychic medium who feels burdened by his ability to
communicate with spirits, one of a woman who has a near-death experience
during a tsunami, and one of a boy who is trying to make sense of the loss
of his twin brother. Any one of these three storylines could have made a
fascinating movie in itself, but teaming the three together was inspired.
Hereafter IS NOT a movie that provides definitive answers about the
afterlife. Neither Clint Eastwood nor Peter Morgan claim to have any such
answers. If thatís what youíre seeking, youíre best to get answers
through personal experience. I recommend a private reading with a psychic
medium (spirit communicator), a past-life regression, a life-between-lives
regression (also known as a spiritual regression), or get a portrait drawn
of your deceased loved one in spirit by a spirit artist.
This IS NOT your typical Hollywood movie filled with violence, action, sex
and rock íní roll. After the initial tsunami scene at the beginning of
the movieóone of only two fast-paced scenes in the movieóHereafterís
pace is unhurried. I use the word ďunhurriedĒ because I happened to
appreciate the movieís pace, but some people might employ the word
ďslow.Ē Yet I have no doubt that this unhurried tone was implemented
with purpose, as the slowness and quietude of the filming sets the mood
for a story about the hereafter.
Moreover, the filmmaking is extraordinary if you like that foreign-film
quality, which I do. Eastwood is exercising his artistic expression in
mood and visual splendor. No shot was filmed without careful attention to
artistic detail. Since the three stories take place in the United States,
France and England, the style of filming is both appropriate and visually
What I loved most about the movie was that someoneóeither Damon,
Eastwood and/or Morganódid their research and got their details correct
about the field of afterlife evidence. Matt Damon, for example, plays the
psychic medium. The readings given by Damonís character are right on
mark. Iíve tested many psychic mediums who gave me readings exactly in
this same style and manner. There was nothing over cooked or
methodologically inaccurate in the characterís portrayal of psychic
mediumship (spirit communication), although the readings were shorter than
the typical 30-to-60-minute readings youíd get for a fee.
Although Damonís character touches people in order to receive his
psychic messages, it should be noted that most psychic mediums donít
need to touch you in order to give a reading, which is why readings can be
delivered by phone. While there are psychic mediums who do like to hold
your hands prior to a reading, this isnít a necessary or even common
approach. Also, Damonís character tended to express a slight jolt in his
body whenever he touched someone to make a connection with spirit, which
doesnít really occur with mediumship; but this is a minor criticism, as
itís the only Hollywood exaggeration I noticed in the movie, and itís
so mildly accentuated that few will ever notice it.
With all Iíve written about Damonís portrayal of the psychic medium,
itís important to emphasize that this IS NOT a movie about psychic
mediums. Iíve talked to a few psychic mediums who have seen Hereafter,
and the most common comment from them is that they felt the movie could
have presented more information about mediumship. I would have agreed if
this movie was about psychic mediums, but itís not. This movie is about
the question of life after death and it merely uses a psychic medium as a
character within the story.
Iím sure that if I talked with people who have had near-death
experiences, they too would feel that the movie could have done more to
educate the public about near-death experiences. But this IS NOT a movie
about near-death experience. It merely uses a character who has a
near-death experience in order to tell a story about death and the
Since Iím on the subject of what this movie is not, I should also
mention that Hereafter IS NOT a movie intending to cleverly bring three
peopleís lives from three different countries together. If you liked the
movie Crash, or if youíre old enough to remember Grand Canyon, then this
is not one of those lives-overlapping-by-divine-coincidence movies. Yes,
the three charactersí lives do intertwine in Hereafter, but not in any
magical or profound manner. Coincidental connection IS NOT the point of
Hereafter IS a movie about the complications of being gifted, about
processing spiritual experiences, and about connecting with loved ones in
spirit. Without giving too much of the movie away, the psychic medium sees
his gift as a curse, the woman who had the near-death experience is
challenged with people believing what she experienced, and later with
talking about her experience without ruining her career, and the boy, who
is emotionally desperate for a connection with his brother, simply has
trouble finding a legitimate practitioner to help him.
This is the brilliance of Hereafter, as these are the true challenges of
everyday people in real life who are faced with these same experiences.
I know many psychic mediums will relate to the struggle of Damonís
character, at least at some point along their journey. The psychicís
predicament to ignore his ability in order to live a normal life is
typical. I compare this to the dilemma of fame. At first it feels like a
blessing, but too much too fast can feel like a curse.
New psychic mediums generally love the attention they get due to their
gift when they first begin giving readings. Over time, however, as they
grow professionally, they often learn to be less forthright about their
vocation with strangers, tending to dance around the subject until they
get a stronger sense of oneís religious beliefs or open-mindedness to
their ability. I havenít met many psychic mediums who outright ignore
their ability in order to live normally, but then again, I guess I
probably wouldnít meet them if they were keeping their abilities secret.
Cťcile de France plays the woman who dies and comes back to life during
the tsunami. The movie illustrated with accuracy the challenges wrought
after having a near-death experience. The number one challenge for people
who have died for seconds or minutes, experienced the afterlife, and then
returned to their physical bodies after being revived is not being
believed by others once they share their afterlife experiences openly.
Instead, near-death experiencers are too often met with skepticism and
even scorn for talking about their experiences out loud. The movie even
demonstrates how many near-death experiencers find that their values have
changed, which can side rail oneís prior plans for the future. Although
subtle in its approach, Hereafter touches upon these life-changing
consequences with precision.
As for the boyís story, anyone who knows grief will likely relate to
this young manís struggle. What I loved most about this story was how
the boy visited with a handful of practitioners, yet unsuccessfully. I had
similar experiences in the early days of my own investigation of this
field. When you donít know where to go or who is legitimate, you bounce
around like a pinball hoping to smack into a credible practitioner.
Whatís even better is that the filmmakers leave the interpretation up to
the movie viewer as to whether these spiritual practitioners are merely
inadequately gifted or flat-out phonies. The truth is that itís not
always easy to know.
Any experienced moviegoer will know that the three characters are destined
to cross paths at some point in the movie. But, as I mentioned, this is
not the magic of this film, although it does a decent job in this regard.
As much as people love seeing the clever ways that people cross paths
along their journeys, this movie crosses much higher mountains. It
suggests that there really are truly gifted psychic mediums in this world
in spite of the charlatans. It suggests that there might actually be an
afterlife as evidenced by people who have had near-death experiences. And
it suggests that if you are persistent enough in your efforts, you might
actually be able to find a way to connect with your loved ones in spirit.
Thatís a lot to accomplish for two hours of film. And while many people
will wish it answered more of their questions about life after death, I
think that Eastwood and Morgan were insightful to not even try.
Hereafter is a controversial movie with moviegoers either loving it or
feeling disappointed by it. There arenít too many who fall in the
middle. But itís not the filmmakers who let anyone down. People who feel
disappointed by the movie allowed their expectations to let them down, not
because the movie promised to do anything more than tell a great story and
get people thinking, but because people crave to know the truth about life
after death and look to others to provide the answers. Many hope Hereafter
will do that for them.
The second time Melissa and I went to see Hereafter, we went with a bunch
of friends. During dinner before the movie, there was much discussion
about death. People were sharing stories amongst the group about the
details of their parentsí deaths. And this was before they ever saw the
movie. Little did they realize that the movie had already succeeded to
incite discussions about a subject that is traditionally unspoken in our
society. And for that aloneónotwithstanding the beauty in story and on
filmóthe movie is a huge success in my point of view.
I highly recommend it.
BestPsychicMediums.com & BestPsychicDirectory.com
Copyright © 2010 Bob
articles by Bob Olson, visit www.ofspirit.com/bobolson.htm
||A former skeptic &
private investigator, Bob Olson has been an Afterlife
Investigator & Psychic Medium Researcher since 1999. In 1997,
Bob Olsonís father died of lung cancer at the age of 64. Bob was
just 35. The event ignited spiritual questions for Bob that heíd
never before considered. Is there life after death? If so, what
evidence exists to prove it? And, if one could prove the existence
of an afterlife, was it also possible to know if our deceased loved
ones exist in this afterlife, if they are okay, and if they are
watching over us? Bob decided to use his skills as a private
investigator to obtain answers, and this was the catalyst for
Bobís investigation into the afterlife.
In his search for evidence of the afterlife, Bob has tested hundreds
of psychics, mediums & other afterlife-related practitioners.
Bob is the host of AFTERLIFE
TV, founder of BEST
PSYCHIC DIRECTORY and BEST
PSYCHIC MEDIUMS, and offers his PSYCHIC
MEDIUM WORKSHOP to help psychics and mediums improve their
abilities and business. Visit Bob on his FACEBOOK page & on TWITTER.
And don't miss Bob's new book titled ANSWERS
ABOUT THE AFTERLIFE.