Out Of Theatre

Collateral Beauty

Out Of Theatre
16 Dec, 2016 1 hr 37 mins U/A
Will Smith, Helen Mirren, Kate Winslet, Edward Norton, Keira Knightley, Naomie Harris, Enrique Murciano, Kylie Rogers, Michael Pena
Will Smith, Helen Mirren, Kate Winslet, Edward Norton, Keira Knightley, Naomie Harris, Enrique Murciano, Kylie Rogers, Michael Pena
David Frankel
Synopsis
‘Collateral Beauty’ is a tearjerker heavy on emotions.
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  • Critic's Review
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  • Times of India
Collateral Beauty Story:
Hit by a personal tragedy, a successful advertising executive withdraws from professional life and writes letters to the universe. When the universe starts replying, he begins to realise that beauty may be found in some rather dark places.

Collateral Beauty Review:
Resident poet-philosopher of a New York advertising firm, Howard (Will Smith) tells his employees the three magic things that effect every human being on an emotional level are love, time and death. He urges them to think of those when hawking products to the public, as his senior associates Whit (Edward Norton), Claire (Kate Winslet) and Simon (Michael Peña) look on, smiling warmly at his wisdom. Cut to three years later, Howard is an emotional wreck, after the death of his six-year old daughter. He withdraws inwards, and as his ad firm borders on the brink of a collapse, he writes letters to the universe addressing them to love, time and death.

In a bid to have Howard relinquish his toxic hold over the company, his three associates play a trick on him. They hire actors to become the three concepts to meet Howard and freak him out so he can be declared mentally unstable, thus saving the company. Enter Amy (Keira Knightley) as love, Raffi (Jacob Lattimore) as time and Bridgette (Helen Mirren) as death.

‘Collateral Beauty’ is a tearjerker heavy on emotions. But at times, it gets a little overbearing and even the dry humour employed makes the suffering feel endless. You hope that when the three actors enter Howard's life, there would be some comic relief. But philosophy flies thick and fast, from minor characters as well. Redemption for viewers is in the form of the unlikely relationships that develop between Amy and Whit, Raffi and Claire and Bridgette and Simon. Seeing that thread unravel through the film is a joy to watch. Their conversations play out like revelations through crisp dialogue.

The message being – when you accept your losses you can move beyond suffering and pain, down a path of redemption which is a thing of beauty. However, the play on the term ‘collateral damage’ fails to hit home as the movie takes a long-winded route to get there.
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