“Collateral Beauty” Offers a Unique Perspective on Love, Time, and Death (Review)

Dec 27, 2016

Collateral Beauty (2016)
Warner Bros. Pictures

Directed by: David Frankel
Produced by: Bard Dorros, Michael Sugar, Allan Loeb, Anthony Bregman, Kevin Scott Frakes
Written by: Allan Loeb
Starring: Will Smith, Edward Norton, Keira Knightley, Michael Peña, Naomie Harris, Jacob Latimore, Kate Winslet, Helen Mirren

The Good
Whenever Will Smith is in a film, it usually goes without saying that you’re in store for a classic, teary-eyed performance. At this point, it’s kind of difficult to determine if he can get any better than he already is. While Smith is portrayed as the main character, this film is more so an ensemble. Kate Winslet, Ed Norton, and Michael Peña are all at their best.

One of the main highlights of this film is the dramatic and philosophical ideas about love, time, and death. The film does give a unique perspective to the grieving process that most people may not be familiar with. Beyond that, depending on how much you paid attention to the trailer, there are interesting twists that are welcomed surprises.

The Bad
As I alluded to earlier, the trailers for this film may be a little misleading. Obviously, I won’t give it away, but the trailer had me thinking that the plot was going to go a certain direction. Then, twenty minutes into the film, it goes in another. Then, it feels like other twists are just randomly thrown into the movie unnecessarily. Again, this is the expectation from the film’s marketing more so than the film itself being at fault.

The Reason
I think the best way to go into this film is to go in as cold as possible. Don’t read or watch anything about it. At least that way you won’t be thrown in various directions the way I was. I’d probably say that this would also be a decent film to watch with a friend (or date?) only because there will be a number of conversation pieces to discuss. (That is, if you’re into having deep, thoughtful conversations.) I think this may be a matinee film at best.