We are all connected. – Collateral Beauty
This movie starts out with Howard Inlet (Will Smith) on the top of his game. His company is doing well, his surrounded by good friends/colleagues and the sky is the limit… then it fast forwards. Howard is a changed man, so consumed by grieve that he’s retreated from the outside world.
With the company in trouble, his friends decide to take matters into their own hands. Whit (Edward Norton), Clare (Kate Winslet) and Simon (Michael Pena) reach out to a group of ‘down on their luck’ theater actors to play Time, Death & Love. The three things that the grief stricken Howard has written bitter letters to.
They play their roles well, each ‘appearing’ to him one by one while Howard’s friends and the general public don’t seem to see them. As they continue to inhabit each of their roles, the actors also aid one of Howard’s friends deal with the issues in their own lives.
The Twist… (if you haven’t seen this film yet, I’d skip this part if you don’t want to read any spoilers)
I started to have my suspicions on how the grief group leader, Madeleine (Naomie Harris) and Howard seemed to have more of a relationship than it appeared. Both mentioned they had lost a daughter… but up until the last part of the film it wasn’t revealed that the grief group counselor and Howard were actually husband and wife… and the letter she’d shown him after one of the group meetings about her husband wishing they could go back to being strangers was actually written by Howard.
The Second Twist…
This was another twist that I’d hoped for which wasn’t revealed until the final scene of the film. The actors who played the roles of Time, Death and Love played them so well that I had wondered if they weren’t actors after all, but were instead Time, Death and Love. This was proven true… So when Death (Helen Mirren) said that no one could see her unless it was their time (or in Howard’s case because he needed to see her) was actually true.
While this movie can seem to be a bit slow at times, I really enjoyed it. It was one of those films that really makes you care about the characters and hope that each of them will find exactly what they’re looking for.