Review: Collateral Beauty

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We’re here to connect. Love, time, death. Now these three things connect every single human being on earth. We long for love, we wish we had more time, and we fear death.”

A movie with a slow start, but a satisfying ending.

First of all, let me just say I did not have high hopes going into this movie as much as I wanted to. When I first saw the trailer for the movie, I was very enthusiastic as I’m a HUGE Will Smith and Keira Knightley fan; however, with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 12%, I was not looking for much, in fact I almost considered skipping this one. I told myself if it was bad, at least I got to enjoy my bucket of popcorn and cherry sprite–my go to movie snacks–and see all the new movie trailers.

The movie started at as most do, a light introduction to all of the characters, with a focus on the main character Howard Inlet, portrayed by Will Smith. After a couple of minutes, we flash forward three years and the next forty minutes are relatively slow. We meet the main characters who are all business partners of Howard, and who each have struggles in their personal lives they try to keep hidden, as well as learning that Howard’s daughter has passed away, and he has closed himself off from those he once kept the closest. The company he started with his best friend and business partner is failing, and they have to do something to turn it around. They have to “help” Howard.

They learn that Howard has been writing letters to death, time, and love in somewhat of a therapeutic way to deal with the tragedy. Now, from this point we meet the characters portrayed by Helen Mirren, Keira Knightley, and Jacob Latimore. In my personal opinion, they stole the entire show. Helen Mirren brought a comedic relief to the show, Keira Knightley was a lovely portrayal of a young woman with a big heart and high morals, and Jacob Latimore was stern in his role and his approach to his role. They play three aspiring actors who get roped into being death, love, and time respectively. They each work closely with one of Howard’s friends, and each build a personal relationship with each of the three friends.

To avoid any major spoilers for those of you who may not have seen the movie, or want to see it after it’s released on DVD, I won’t go into many details about the rest of the movie. The last forty-five minutes of the movie really pull you in. I was skeptical up until this moment, but by the end of the movie I was in tears. The ending is truly magical for me, and while I might have caught onto what the directors were doing with the plot, I still loved every moment. You will fall in love with the moral of the story, and you will fall in love with the passion of Mirren and Knightley’s characters. You will want to hug Smith’s character. And finally, you will realize that everyone has hidden demons, and true friendship will always overcome any problems you may have.

While the movie ended beautifully to me, and had some great characters, it was still not the best movie I have seen all year, and wouldn’t be one I would pay to see again. It seemed like a rip off of A Christmas Carol, a little overdone but decently executed. Anything that tugs at my heartstrings gets a win for me. Will Smith didn’t give me the movie I was hoping for and Kate Winslet seemed like she didn’t really want to be there, but Helen Mirren and Keira Knightley gave me so much more than that. It may have failed to hit the mark for such a stellar cast, but it was a decent movie that at least pulled me in at the end.

Oh, and for the final moments of the movie, trust me, you will need a box of tissues. And I would recommend waiting for the DVD release.

Rating: 5 out of 10

Trailer: Collateral Beauty

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