Monday, February 9, 2009

Movie Review: "What Dreams May Come"

"What Dreams May Come" is a visually stunning as well as thought provoking film. The screenplay is adapted from a book and the basic story takes place in the afterlife. Story goes a little like this: Christy and Anna meet in Europe and fall in love. They marry have 2 kids. One day the nanny is driving the kids to school and tragically they are in a collision with a truck and both children die. Christy and Anna try to recover, they have each other and Anna leans on Christy for support. One night, Anna, an artist, needs Christy to bring paintings to the Gallery where she's having a showing of her work. On his way to the gallery he comes upon a series of accidents in a tunnel, being a doctor he gets out of the car to see if he can help some of the injured. Again, tragically, a car careens down the road into the tunnel, goes airborn and hits Christy, killing him. The next few minutes of the movie are Christy meeting his spirit guide and learning that he is dead. He doesn't want to leave his beloved Anna but when he realizes his staying around her seems to be hurting her more than comforting her, he decides it is time to go. When he decides to enter his afterlife he realizes it is one of Anna's paintings. Christy is adjusting to his life in the afterlife when Anna kills herself in her grief over losing her entire family, and especially Christy, in such a short amount of time. When Christy finds out that she is dead he gets excited thinking they will be reunited. He then learns because she is a suicide he will not be reunited with her. He has a new purpose and vows to go get her and bring her back. The rest of the movie is Christy going to find his wife and bringing her back to him.

The subject matter is rather heady and may be a bit much for some people. I know my own mother, being a widow, can't watch this movie because it affects her too much emotionally. It is pretty heavy but there are moments of light and humor and the special effects are absolutely incredible. The sequence where Christy enters his afterworld and it is one of Anna's paintings is unbelievably vivid and beautiful. Actually the visual cues throughout the film help to move the story. The color red is woven throughout the film as is the color blue. When you enter Anna's world after the death of her family, you truly can feel the depths of her grief and despair. Christy's world by contrast is unbelievably striking and full of life. It was this visual contrast that drew me to the movie and that subsequently inspired my art. Shortly after watching this movie(also, Monkeybone and Amelie) my color palette started reflecting more vibrancy and life. The colors reflect more of my inner lightness of being and optimism. Until these films, I really was stuck in a rather straight-laced, buttoned down, conservative color palette. These movies helped me to revisit the freshness and joy that reside in my heart and that I now try to share with the world through my own art.

Goofs for "What Dreams May Come"

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