Movie Review: Collateral Beauty (2016)

Yes, it’s been several months since Will Smith starred in the compelling drama — Collateral Beauty — which is about a couple who lost their 6-year-old child due to a rare form of cancer in ‘glioblastoma’, a malignant rapidly growing astrocytoma of the central nervous system and usually of a cerebral hemisphere. In short, it’s an almost impossible-to-cure disease that basically affects the head.

Okay, for those who loves Korean drama, you must have heard this in the series ‘Punch’ when the lead male star was diagnosed with glioblastoma and had a painful battle against it — particularly from uncontrollable motor skills to the loss of it — before succumbing to the disease after 6 months. Well, since the ‘experience’ on the disease was not really shown in ‘Collateral Beauty’, at least we now have an idea of what it does to our body.

Anyway, again, the movie isn’t really about the disease but about a man trying to reconnect with life through the 3 abstractions.

So, what were they again? Love. Time. Death. As Howard goes, “We’re here to connect. Life is about people.. The 3 abstractions connect every human being on earth. Everything that we covet, everything that we fear not having, everything that we ultimately end up buying. At the end of the day, we long for love, we wish we had more time, and we fear death.”

Makes sense? Sure. Only if we have someone to really share ’em with. Only if we have family.
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Many of you might have felt some kind of awkwardness in the ‘so simple’ role that Keira Knightley had (considering the current stage of her career) — we’re sorta used to her being more active, you know, like a main character. Though she was tasked to do ‘love’, those three abstractions which included Helen Mirren (a.k.a. ‘death’) were obviously like cameo roles. And incidentally, it was the performance of ‘time’ (Jacob Latimore) that really stood out.

On the other hand, Will (a.k.a. Howard) did a good job acting out a ‘lost soul’; and what makes it more touching was when he was actually ‘trying to find comfort’ — through his wife (Naomie Harris a.k.a. Madeleine), which he didn’t realize till later on?! Only shows that a deep form of depression truly makes us lose hope, desire in life and yes, our sense of reality. Hmm…

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Still how lucky, in fact, Howard is to have a wife who’s really just been around in case he decides he indeed needs help. An ear that would listen. A hand to pull him up and through. A being to give him warmth and make life still worth living. No wonder Howard succeeded in life, in his career.

We all have gifts. And more than just finding it, more significant here is using and sustaining it. That’s the job of ‘love’, of having family or at least having someone who’d stand by us — till the end.
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Meanwhile, ‘time’ is as precious as it can be. So, it would be good to realize what really matters before it’s too late. Finally, ‘death’ is not really scary nor should it be treated like a ‘kill-joy’. From the start, we all know that life is.. is temporary. No matter how young and healthy we are, we’re never guaranteed of a long life. And sadly, many are just swallowed by worldliness. Thus, it’d be good for our souls to control that greed, that selfishness and start being truly helpful and living clean — only then would we have real peace, something not only ‘death’ should bring.

We’re only here on a mission.

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