Sadly children die. This has got to be the hardest thing to live with for a parent. At present in the uk 5 more children die per day than in sweden which has the lowest child mortality rate in Europe. One of the biggest killers is cancer, which is in no way surprising.
Collateral beauty looks at a successful man who has given up and broken down because of the death of his daughter. We see a glimpse of what he was like before his child was taken away and then we are moved on two years. We see a broken man who has lost his way and no longer cares and feels no reason to live. His closest friends are in business with him and his state of mind is having a major impact on their lives. They are having to work twice as hard, they are losing business and have major fears about supporting their families financially. unfortunately life doesn’t stand still and your actions affect others.
The man is Howard and he is played beautifully by Will Smith. He tries to fix the pieces together by writing to the things that have taken his daughter away. He writes to Death as death refused to take his life in exchange for his daughters, Time because he and his daughter were not given time and Love because he no longer has love and has lost the love of his child.
His friends as I have said cannot wait for Howard to get better, thats if he ever does. They are of course his friends but he is bringing down their lives as well. They manage to orchestrate a way to make Death, Time and Love visit Howard in human form.Their aim is to provide evidence that Howard is no longer mentally fit to make decisions for the company. This sounds harsh but when you hear Simons story then you can understand why this is so important.
This is an amazing cast who play each character very well. kate Winslet plays Claire who has a real emotional attachment to Howard, she has held the business together sacrificing life away from work. Ed Norton plays Wit who is Howards best friend. He has ruined his own life because of his philandering ways. His lifestyle choices could cost his relationship with his daughter. Michael Pena plays Simon who has his own struggles, but has kept them secret.
We then have the perfectly cast Helen Mirren as Death, Keira Knightly as Love and Jacob Latimer as Time. They are a great contrast to each other and very believable. The story is obviously very sad, but there is a positive message. The ending has been heavily criticised, which I understand to some degree. This is not an amazing film, but it is also not dreadful. I think the criticism has been rather unfair. I think when so many great actors are unvolved the expectation can be too high.
This is a 7/10.