Approaching eighty, it is only fair that Clint Eastwood has become preoccupied with matters like death and afterlife, and in Hereafter, the veteran filmmaker gives these matters a thorough and devoted examination. The film presents three separate plot threads, all of which are constantly interesting, if not totally absorbing: (1) a French journalist and TV personality (Cécile de France) has a near-death experience following a tsunami, loses focus on her job, and feels drawn to the subject of afterlife; (2) a retired psychic (Matt Damon) tries to lead a normal life, but his talent keeps getting in the way; (3) a young British boy dies in a traffic accident, and his identical twin becomes obsessed with getting in touch with him.
As expected, these three lives are ultimately intertwined, and Eastwood does it all neatly and delicately. The film has an aptly openminded and inquiring attitude towards its subject material, but if you feel that it doesn't quite blow your mind away, it's because Eastwood's direction is a little bit too meek and agreeable and the plot lacks a little bit of edge. The acting is fine, however, especially by Damon and de France, and the ending has a fitting poetic quality.