Billy's Film Reviews.

A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!

What Dreams May Come – 1998


Diversity is Robin Williams’ strong point without question, but the term ‘diversity’ can stand for quite a lot. His acting abilities are diverse, his medium forms are diverse and the quality of films he has starred in are also diverse. It is a shame when such a great idea for a film doesn’t fulfil it’s potential, and sadly for “What Dreams May Come”, it is very much the case. 

Based around elements of love, loss, spirituality, the afterlife and surrealism, “What Dreams May Come” focuses on Chris Nielson (Williams), a man who tragically loses his life in a car accident and then proceeds to venture around the afterlife searching for his wife. The possibilities for such a synopsis are endless, and to it’s credit, the film does exhibit some highly impressive ideas and visuals.

LR-2WDMC-maries-worldJuxtaposing realms and universes and blending them together, “What Dreams May Come” is surprisingly dark with the elements it explores, all the while being overly joyous on numerous occasions. It is a real mixed bag.

Cuba Gooding Jr. (most recognised for “show me the money!”) is quite good as Albert Lewis, Nielson’s tour guide if you will, while other performances from Annabella Sciorra and Max von Sydow are commendable as well. Williams gives it his best, and the role of Chris Nielson does suit him quite well, it’s just that there appears to be an awkwardness surrounding the screenplay as a whole, mostly being generated by scenes drawing out too long. 

What-Dreams-May-Come-robin-williams-26619597-1499-973The scenes that see Nielson and Lewis travel through various paintings makes for some exciting viewing and shows where the $85,000,000 budget predominantly went. It is quite a visually stunning film with countless surrealist elements to it. Being a fan of films that expire the subconscious and dreamscapes, one would think that “What Dreams May Come”would be enticing and enjoyable, however it ended up being relatively uninteresting and tiresome. 

Everybody involved tries their hardest and the film overall is quite interesting to look at, but sadly it lacks substance and punch as far as a story structure goes. “What Dreams May Come” has a synopsis that is as unrestricted as any director would like it to be, but unfortunately it ends up drawing out too long without anything keeping the audience hooked in. 



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