Collateral Beauty is more a philosophical retelling than a story. The ideated personifying of abstractions cements out as a solid premise, and when you couple it with such an esteem ensemble, what could really go wrong at all?
This film is well made with the obvious up-to-the-mark performances. David Frank has proven his prowess in handling tear-jerking scripts (Marley & Me, I’m looking right at you). Conveniently set during christmas time, this movie explores a fundamentally beautiful concept of interacting with the embodiments of death, love and time. Conceptually, this already struck a chord with me. There are moments you tend to giggle a bit, and the inevitable ones that may get you bawling away.
Then what really makes this movie so underwhelming?
Sigh. There are loads of arbitrations when it comes to the script. While the idea of personifications worked alright, there were random metaphors that seemed to have some relevance, but lacked clarity. Moreover, multiple loose ends tended to appear, as the movie progressed. This in turn has me even question the actuality of these personified abstractions. Although in the end (spoiler alert) it’s rather obvious that all through the movie, the characters were indeed interacting with, time, death and love, their intent of choosing to have those interactions with these real people didn’t make sense.
I must admit though, that if all these questions are overlooked, the movie is quiet a beautiful lesson in itself. One thing that should be unforgiven is the banality of the movie scoring. I couldn’t help but think that I wasn’t feeling the intensity of certain moments simply because the music was putting me off. This probably blurred the pacing of the movie itself.
This was a beautiful story that somehow lost shades of that beauty in the screenplay. But eventually the movie was in par with the intent of what Frank was trying to convey on the surface. There were as many things that worked as there were that didn’t. And this would probably garner an audience largely divided.
But for me, I think it’s worth the watch. When you’re on that couch, snuggling in a thick rug, with a cup of hot chocolate, on the laziest of Sundays. This would enhance that Sunday. A bit, at least.
Anuj is a musician and writer who moonlights as an engineer. Being a massive movie/TV show enthusiast, if only he could get could paid for watching anything and everything. This Hogwarts alumnus is one with the Force, and the Force is one with him.