Director: David Franel
Writer: Alan Loeb
Starring: Will Smith, Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, Michael Peña, Helen Mirren, Naomie Harris, Keira Knightley; Jacob Latimore.
Who doesn’t love watching an intricate set of dominoes fall? But when I realised this was the disintegration of Howard’s (Will Smith) heart, the final crash of those dominoes took on a new meaning.
After the death of his daughter, Howard is falling apart. He does nothing but set up those dominoes only to watch them fall.
Once a successful advertising guru, the company is starting to fail because advertising is built on relationships so when the guru falls, so does the company.
Howard exclaims in a speech at the beginning of the film, the 3 truths of life: Death, Love and Time.
So when his daughter dies, it’s the 3 truths he writes to – posting a letter to each, expressing grief and anger that his daughter has been taken from him.
I don’t know why I always go into a Will Smith film with a cringe. I know he has that frank, openess that has a way to pull the heart strings, and the cast had to be amazing to pull this script into a realm of belief. And you just know you’re going in for a tear-jerker which I’m not a fan of. But at this time of year when maybe you’ve had a health scare, or the family’s not quite right, it’s nice to go into that suspension of reality.
I haven’t seen Edward Norten in a film for a while and have to say I was worried when he showed up in khaki pants. However, I bite my tongue because it got to me, this film about death and fear and love and loss and the great equaliser, time.
The soundtrack had something to do with this. And the all-star cast. Who else could pull off Death but Helen Mirren?
And notice I’m not going on about the directing, cinematography, costuming (although I had a few issue here with those fake blue contacts and khaki pants!) – it’s just not noticeable.
I was absorbed at the beginning with the fall of those dominoes and then held watching well-known actors dealing with stuff we all have to tackle, at some stage.
This isn’t my favourite type of film, but if you’re in the mood, Collateral Beauty is a wonderful escape.