Collateral Beauty (2016)

So I’m on a mission this year to watch as many films as humanly possible. The watch list on my IMDB is around 300 films currently! I’m never going to get them watched if I don’t start watching one at least every day. Or every other day. A friend on twitter made me aware of the website Letterboxd and I’m hooked! It’s so much better than IMDB because you get to see exactly how many films you have seen in total. The other cool thing is the film diary, where you add the film you watched and the date you watched it. So, I thought I could use this for my blog this year. Watch and then review. I’ve struggled to find a niche for my blog so I really think this would give me something to focus on. So every film I will watch this year (and already have) I will do a review for my blog. Exciting times right! I’ve watched 19 films this year already so I have got some catching up to do! If you have Letterboxd and want to follow me, I’ll leave a profile link at the end for you. Right let’s kick off the first review!

The first film I watched this year was Collateral Beauty, starring Will Smith, Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, Helen Mirren & Keira Knightley. The trailer for this film really grabbed me. The thought of someone being so angry and grief stricken at Love, Time and Death that he writes letters to each of them and blames them for his daughter’s death. Only for Love, Time and Death to appear in human form and confront Howard about his letters. It was an interesting premise and one that I’m sure all of us can relate to in some way. Also, it’s a Will Smith film. Everyone loves Will Smith! (I was going to put everyone loves Willy there then quickly backtracked)

Now I won’t go too much in to detail with regards to the plot. The trailer basically tells you what you need to know anyway. I really liked how the film portrayed grief and how it can drastically change us for the rest our lives. You cannot prepare yourself for losing someone. I remember when my grandad passed away and hit me like a train. It just came out of nowhere and you have no control over the emotion that follows. The film I felt beautifully puts across that emotion, and played to perfection by Smith. You can feel his pain right through the screen. The love that he had for his daughter, so cruelly and suddenly taken away by cancer. It’s a strong message to never take anyone for granted. We’re not on this earth for very long and it’s to appreciate every single second with your loved ones while they are with us. Goes without saying that this film was emotional!

It’s funny how initially I thought the Love, Time and Death confronting Will’s character was interesting but then quickly turned out to be the films flaw. The problem being is that the actors don’t get a lot of time to interact with Smith and instead spend more time with other people, who are experiencing their own affiliations with love, time and death. So much so that the film loses focus and becomes muddled in the middle. It’s hard saying why without giving away spoilers but it does also get a little confused. Which is a real shame because it started off well. I think there are too many characters though and not enough time spent on Smith’s character. The other actors are good, but they aren’t fully fleshed and just seem there for the sake of it.

The ending did catch me off guard though. Definitely one of the films highlights. The film is at its best when Smith and Harris are on screen together. The chemistry they have is great and I found myself wanting to spend more time with them two than the others. It’s almost a story of two films, that then are quickly rushed back together for the ending. It’s a shame because a little more focus on key characters would have made this okay film to brilliant. The saying less is more has never been so true.

So there you go, the first review of many! The next review will be the film Assassin’s Creed. Keep your eyes peeled for that next week!

Oh and if you have Letterboxd, my username is Surrealkevbo, so add away and follow me on my film journey!

Right, go, watch films!



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