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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Afterlife Blues
by Betty Jo Tucker

The Discovery, a sci-fi romance, takes a unique approach in dealing with the afterlife. But donít expect any gorgeous scenes reminiscent of What Dreams May Come. Most of the time, this new movie makes almost everything look pretty bleak -- even the scientific technology.

Charlie McDowell directed this motion picture and co-wrote it with Justin Lader. (These two also worked together on The One I Love, a risky indie film I greatly admire.) An ambitious movie, The Discovery highlights such profound subjects as life/death, suicide, guilt, cults, loss, regret, faith and love.       

We first meet Will and Isla (Jason Segel/The Muppets and Rooney Mara/Carol) as two strangers traveling to the same place. They both want to see Dr. Thomas Harbor (Robert Redford/An Unfinished Life), the man who discovered that the afterlife really exists. But they each have their own reason. The movie focuses on their unusual romantic journey and on the relationship between Dr. Harbor and his son Will.

Although slow moving in many places, this Netflix offering gives viewers something important to think about.            

When we die, do our thoughts remain

yet exist on another plane?

The Discovery leaves no doubt.

Thatís what this film is all about.


Intriguing as the theme may be,

this film is not easy to see.

Afterlife proof causes a scare.

Whyís that? Suicides to get there.


Itís future time and science rules

but human beings can still be fools.

The filmís ending does make sense.

What comes before, Iím on the fence.


Bland dialogue hangs in the air,

making it hard to really care.

Still, actors play their roles just fine.

For many, thatís a real good sign.

In sorrow we must go, but not in despair. Behold! We are not bound for ever to the circles of the world, and beyond them is more than memory. --- J.R.R. Tolkien

Guilt: the gift that goes on giving. --- Erma Bombeck.

Death ends a life, not a relationship. --- Jack Lemmon

(Released by Netflix. Not rated by MPAA.)

For more information about The Discovery, go to the IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes website.

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