Weekly Movie Rec: What Dreams May Come

I never have a forum to do it here, as it isn’t what this site is about, but I often like engaging in conversations about life, death and the afterlife with people, as I think it’s an absolutely fascinating concept to discuss. I won’t sum up my entire worldview, but suffice to say I don’t think anyone can know anything for absolute certain, but it’s very cool to see people try to represent their own ideas, particularly in film.

That’s the majority of the reason why I love What Dreams May Come. Robin Williams loses his wife to suicide, and must travel through heaven, purgatory and hell to try and save her. It shares much with Dante’s Divine Comedy, but with visuals to match the words.

This film was made in 1998, but even today its visuals are absolutely stunning. Williams’ ideal world is a literal painting brought to life, and the effect is one that stays with you. Similarly, Hell is absolutely terrifying, and the film goes from light to dark and back again with visual imagery that stands out in all its settings.

Sure, it ends up being a touch cheesy at points, but I think Williams does a great job as a man lost in the ether, and if this sort of topic interests you, religious or not, I highly recommend you give What Dreams May Come a chance.

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  1. This is pretty good movie but I always thought it would have been much better if they had cut the words “SOUL MATE!!!!” out of the dialog a few dozen times. I realize it is pretty much the central concept, but it was just repeated too damn much.

  2. I’ve loved this from the first time I saw it years ago. I don’t recall them saying ‘soul mate’ all that often, especially for it being one of the central themes of the movie. Many other movies repeat the their central themes much more often and aren’t criticized for it. Pretty much any movie involving codes or cars. So if you have a problem with the words ‘soul mate’ perhaps you need to take a look a why within yourself.
    It’s a beautiful movie both visually and via the message it’s portraying. It’s important to keep and open mind and and open heart, because it’s all about love. The chemicals happen in the brain but it’s felt in the soul.
    I would recommend a book, if I may that talks about what being a soul mate is and what it means. It doesn’t have to be a romantic relationship, and the best romantic relationships start and persevere with a good friendship; Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom by John O’Donohue

  3. First thought: When Peter Griffen bought Roadhouse and they tried to throw this movie in for free and he refused and so it sang (the song from Annie I think) in the window =)

  4. He doesn’t lose his wife to suicide, he is killed first by a flying car while trying to assist accident victims. (he’s a doctor)

    If this movie is boring to you, perhaps you were not in the right mood or frame of mind.
    Or perhaps it’s because there wasn’t any shaky cam and rapidly flashing colours to keep your primitive mind amused.

    Absolutely beautiful and enchanting, I would recommend this movie to anyone who has ever wondered why we’re even here at all.

  5. I love a good movie that makes you think. This one didn’t. It was cheesy, predictable AND boriing. If you want a movie that will make you think and doesn’t rely on special effects that deals with the afterlife then I suggest The Rapture.

  6. I thought the movie was visually stunning but it did have it’s boring points. I did see many similarities to The Divine Comedy and was pleased with some of the translations from book to film. Obviously, the couldn’t get as violent as the book, but I think it worked.

  7. I couldn’t care less WHAT people say about this movie, I love it! It’s absolutely beautiful and plus, my very religious Nani hates it, so in a small way that’s a plus for me. I love how dark it gets toward the end, and when the tree…melts? does that work, that’s just beautiful, I love this film. ^-^

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