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by Gabrielle Smith

 

Death is a hard component of life to overcome, especially when death takes the life of someone closely related to you. Some people who lose a family members experience moments of depression in their lives. They change from an energetic person to a dull person who hates to get out of bed every morning. Depression can lead to mentally stepping away from life: friends, family, and coworkers. These examples make writer Allan Loeb and director David Frankel’s COLLATERAL BEAUTY a helpful film for coping with a loss of a family member and regaining steadiness in one’s life.

Will Smith takes on the role of Howard Inlet, an advertising executive who has mentally and socially taken a break from life. Director Frankel takes us on a journey of seeing how far his friends Claire (Katie Winslet), a coworker of Inlet who works exceptionally hard, Whit (Edward Norton), a partner at Inlet’s firm, and Simon (Michael Pena), a coworker of Inlet has a secret he is hiding from everyone in his life, will go to get Howard back to reality. To get Inlet back to reality and save the company they must decide how to help him in order to save their company.

This film shows how a person should not leave love or be angry with time because they will miss life. This plot shows how a death can really effect a parent who loses their child. Smith portrays the persona of anyone that loses someone they love authentically, with the choice to have Inlet wallow in his misery and depression, rather than seeking therapy of psychiatric care.

The scenes were well lit and in worked with the set decoration to create the feeling of the Christmas season that captures New York in early winter. The classic style of New York was authenticated due to the film being shot on location, then magnified by the fact that characters were dressed in true Manhattan style, with designer glasses and clothing. The cinematography manages to capture the dramatic moments with angles that almost make you want to cry when the characters cried. Thoughts of the characters were heightened with shots zeroing in from wide to narrow as the thought occurred to the individual.
COLLATERAL BEAUTY speaks to people who have lost love ones, which is everyone in the world. When walking into the theater you are presented with a life that could be a scene in your own life as well as the person sitting next you. When you watch this movie, picture yourself as Inlet, living without the elements of love, time, and being made to deal with death and how these elements could impact your life. Do not walk into the theater expecting something basic, by time you walk out of the theatre, you will need to grab a tissue for the ride home. Will Smith takes on a different role than usual and in the end leaves his audience stunned by his performance. While watching, you will think you have guessed the ending but you will be fooled!

 

COLLATERAL BEAUTY opened nationwide December 16, 2016. Rated PG-13. 97 minutes.