One Minute Review: What Dreams May Come (1998) [3.5]

WHAT DREAMS MAY COME // “What Dreams May Come” presents an intriguing take on what happens to someone when they die, presenting a visual representation of the afterlife. Starring Robin Williams in the leading role, for the most part, he fits the role just fine, except for when playing his younger self, to which he comes off hokey and out of place. Williams plays Chris Nielsen, a doctor by trade, and a loving husband to Annie (Annabella Sciorra), both of which have lost two children and are coping to get by. To add insult to injury, Chris’ life is taken as well during a freak car accident in a tunnel. Following Chris into the afterlife, we are introduced to an immense world where you create the world that you live in, or in Chris’ case, a living breathing painting that was created by his wife.

Still holding a small connection to his living wife, Chris meets Albert, played memorably by Cuba Gooding Jr. As he assimilates to his afterlife, the twists that come from the people surrounding him are unforgettable, almost to a fault, where years after seeing the film, you will still remember what comes next. Based on a novel from a science fiction/horror writer, the darkness of the film comes in full effect when journeying to the “hell” of the afterlife, after Annie takes her own life. Heartbreaking and brimming with emotion, the film offers both insight into what an afterlife could be like and a dismal view of the worlds that could exist beyond this one. Even though the visual effects come off dated, the stage play essence of the film is admirable and keeps it from completely losing its footing. “What Dreams May Come” lands as one of the most memorable afterlife films and with Robin Williams at the helm, adds a touch of classic to the film as well.

[Directed by Vincent Ward] [PG-13] [113 min] [2 October 1998]    07threehalf-stars

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