'For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. '
Named after a line in a poem in which Hamlet contemplates death and suicide,'What Dreams May come' follows Chris Nielsen (Robin Williams), an individual that is recently deceased and attempting desperately to reconnect with his mortal wife, Annie (Annabella Sciorra). After his wife commits suicide, Chris begins a journey in the afterlife in an attempt to reconnect with her despite the odds being against him.
Considering the subject matter being mature, this film is one I would consider to be kid-friendly; the death scenes are brief and/or alluded to, and there's no scenes that are particularly graphic or distressing. The dialogue and vocabulary used in the film is down -to-earth, and is used in such a way that both adults and children can understand and relate to. For that alone this gets at least a 3-star rating.
This film was nominated for an award for best art direction, so knowing this my expectations going in to this as far as visual appeal were high to begin with. It goes without saying that these were exceeded, as the cinematography is exceptional - the colors (in both presence, and absence at times) had an intentional variety to them, and there were even some scenes where the /texture/ of some substances were clear. This movie is in one word: stunning.
My only complaint (without giving too much away) i s that we are told in the film that hell is a place that pain is present, but that's not all it is - the problem however, is that when Chris travels to hell, we aren't given much as an audience evidence (at least, visually) to suggest that. This doesn't take much away from the film, and I'm happy to say that this movie doesn't stray much from the book it is based off of - so this is really just me being nitpicky. I just think a little bit of complexity in this area would have been appreciated, and I'm sure another audience member out there might agree with me.
At the end of the day, this isn't just a movie about death; like the novel, it's meant to inspire some hope about the afterlife, which is in some ways an inevitable destination for every single living being. The emotions are intense (and, they mirror reality) but they do what they are meant to do - and that's make us a little less fearful about dying when it is our time to do so.
rest in peace to the beautiful actor that was Robin Williams.
I would recommend.