"New Age Musings"
What You Need To Know:
COLLATERAL BEAUTY is a well-made, engaging, poignant movie. The entire cast does an exceptional job. Also, the dialogue and plot twists are planned well and written well. A minor criticism is that the movie doesn’t leave anything to the imagination. It even insinuates viewers aren’t smart enough to understand the outcome without showing it. Finally, COLLATERAL BEAUTY has a Buddhist, New Age worldview and a Universalist message mixed with some moral elements. MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.
(PaPa, FRFR, B, LL, S, A, DD, MM) Buddhist, New Age pagan worldview with some moral elements, about the importance of love, caring for others, family, etc., main character says he doesn’t believe in God or the universe but ultimately turns around (though doesn’t specify a deity and just says it’s Collateral Beauty), and pantheistic comments about humans all being connected, beings existing after death, prayers to Death; 13 obscenities (including one “f” word) and four profanities; no violence; no sexual content but mentions of an affair and the destruction of a family because of an affair; no nudity; light drinking; a joke about the purchase of “designer drugs”; and, strong miscellaneous immorality includes lying, a dysfunctional family, and child tells her father she “hates him.”
COLLATERAL BEAUTY is a drama about a man trying to regain his sanity after his daughter dies, while trying to confront characters personifying Love, Death and Time. COLLATERAL BEAUTY is an engaging, poignant movie, but it has a strong Buddhist, New Age, pantheistic worldview with some foul language.
Two years ago, Howard lost his daughter and still isn’t in good shape. He barely communicates with others and hasn’t worked for years. This situation leaves his company in a bad place. Howard’s colleagues, Claire, Whit and Simon, are worried about him and don’t want the company to go under. They want to sell the company and still have creative liberty, but Howard has to approve this plan. Since Howard won’t communicate with them, however, they are in a huge bind.
The three decide to hire a private investigator to watch Howard and see he does anything they can say is crazy, so they can then take his shares of the company. When the private investigator watches Howard, she finds he’s writing letters to Love, Time and Death.
Claire, Whit and Simon decide to hire actors to play Love, Time and Death to confront Howard with what he’s written. They think Howard will sound crazy, and the investigator can get it on camera.
The actor playing Love, Aimee, spends time with Whit, in order to prepare for her role. Whit ends up being attracted to Aimee, but she tells him he needs to get right with his own daughter before pursuing any romantic interests. Meanwhile, the actor playing Time, Raffi, is working on his role with Claire, and the actor playing Death spends time with Simon.
Once Howard starts being confronted with Love, Time and Death, he decides to go to a grief group. At first, Howard is very standoffish. He walks into the group’s meeting, but, when he’s asked his dead daughter’s name, he walks out. Eventually, however, he finds the courage to stay. Now, Howard has to come to terms with his daughter’s death and move forward with his life.
COLLATERAL BEAUTY is a very well made, engaging movie, with poignant moments. The entire caste does an exceptional job playing their characters. Also, the dialogue is good, and the twists are very well planned. A minor criticism is that the movie doesn’t leave anything to the imagination. In fact, it insinuates that viewers aren’t smart enough to understand the outcome without showing it. The music is well done and creates the mood. Overall, COLLATERAL BEAUTY is an entertaining movie with poignant, genuine dialogue.
That said, COLLATERAL BEAUTY has conflicting worldview elements. There are some moral elements, but, overall, the movie has a Buddhist, New Age, Universalist message. The movie’s goal is for the main character to get over his grief and see the “Collateral Beauty” in everything. Also, it’s mentioned that love is in everything, the darkness and the light, and in every person. Will Smith’s character says he prays to “Death, not to God or the universe” and blames both God and the universe for what tragically happened to his daughter. Another character says nothing is really dead, if you look around. These messages are definitely conflicting because Christians understand there’s a distinction between good and evil and light and darkness, and God is the giver of life. Christians also believe death is a real, concrete part of life. However, most sects of Buddhism and Hinduism believe we are connected, there is no beginning and end, and even in darkness there is good.
COLLATERAL BEAUTY also has some foul language. MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.