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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 18 March 2000
I enjoyed this film not only for it's marvelous special effects but also for the deeply spirtual message conveyed by the plot. It manages to take influence from a wide range of religions and philosophies which gives it a sense of deeper meaning as it suggests what each of us would expect that religions and philosophy have only been glimpses of the truth rather than the whole truth. I found it very impressive that heaven was created by the persons thoughts. Some may misinterpret that people commiting suicide are sent to hell but this was no condemation but merely a result of the version of heaven created by the negative thinking of someone who has taken there own life. In effect the person condemming them was there self. This has strong parallels with real life because in effect each of us are creating our own heaven or hell by how we interpret our lives. It is amazing to see a film which has such depth and meaning to it in these days when special effects and action take precedence over interesting plots.
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on 8 August 2010
This film is one of my favourites, out of any I've yet seen.
Why so? Well, to begin with, it's visually a real masterpiece. If you're an artist, or just love beauty, you are very likely to be thrilled by the visuals, which are really very psychedelic!

One of the other reasons I love this film, (and often lend it out) is the central theme concerning life after death. I've worked with a lot of people who are feeling very suicidal, and for many long years have deeply studied the whole topic of life after death.
I've also had some very 'near misses' myself, and gained personal insights...

This film depicts the most 'realistic' appraisal of what heaven (and hell) is like, over and above any other cinematic representation I've yet seen, and so is effectively very 'educational' in that respect. By this I mean that 'hell', or 'Hades' isn't, --to the best of my knowledge-- as many religions indicate, a place of flames and heat, but more often a very chilly, foggy, very lonely sort of place, --more especially for those who've taken their own lives, or have lived very selfish, materialistic lives and / or done much harm to others.

In the same vein, 'Heaven', (aka: 'The Summerlands', the 'Astral Plane', the 'Subtle World' and etc) is well-depicted in this movie, -as being a place where all our thoughts and desires and creations are instantly made into form, -- and the place, or plane, is alive with transcendent colour, (and sounds) far richer and a hundred times more spectacular and breathtaking than anything possible on our much more mundane 'Earth plane'.

Another theme echoed in this film is the notion of: "Omnia vincit amor" (Love conquers all) so our hero (Robin Williams) is, in this movie (if not in any actuality?) able to clamber about in the Lower Spheres in order to find and rescue his beloved wife from the dire fate she bestowed upon herself, -by ending her life too soon; -- { forsooth, the lords of Karma might have a thing or two to say about that! }

The supposed adept, Shakespeare, knew a few secrets about life... and death, and to those familiar with Hamlet, they will recognise the film's title:
"To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil... "

People unacquainted with (and thus ignorant of) the topics of karma, and the continuation of human consciousness after death of the physical body may (and do!) often cynically scoff at the notion that any of this stuff has any bearing on reality, but hey... (as Shakespeare also said) ::

"There's more to heaven and earth Horatio, than this world dreams of!"
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on 19 January 2003
"if you've recently lost a loved one then you might want to stear clear" or something like that.
Well, i think casting Robin Williams in this film was a good idea because we understand what he is like as an actor and a person... funny, lively, crazy, smiley... but also soppy, romantic, sensitive, lovable and loving... a man who fights against his own self pity.
The whole point of HIS heaven being a world filled only with images of his (still living) wifes painting is that they were soulmates of the highest order.
The fact that his two guides in heaven are in fact his own dead children gives comfort or understanding to people who like to think that there is someone there to look after us and that we will be there to look after those who come after us. Of course after a film like this you can't help but turn your thoughts to those around you who are alive and with you now.

I recommend this highly to anyone who has lost a loved one... but i recommend watching it alone.

5 stars for bravery and effort!
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on 3 April 2000
This film illustrates that a positive state of mind is actually heaven, wherever it is, and that negative thoughts bring about hell for oneself. It is a deeply moving tale and shows another theory on life and death based mainly on Buddhist beliefs.A true love story where two people are just meant to be together through thick and thin. Aaaahhhh....
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on 26 April 2006
Visually stunning - with Very Special effects.

Script is disappointing in places - thought I was seeing a movie that would spawn many similar at the time - though not to be - this movie stands out alone as a representation of the "Afterlife" like no other movie I have seen.

If you have ever questioned continued existence after 'death' I urge you to see this movie.

From a very human story of grief and love lost - it becomes a passionate epic of searching - pining - and eventually reuniting. Painful at times to share the characters experiences, but ultimately - if actually considered - the movie might even change your perspective.
I loved it.
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What dreams may come is a paranormal/supernatural movie who's subject matter I would say is. . .
Do we exist in any way, after death? and is there such a thing as a soul mate? If you're interested in these kind of questions, this is a movie for you. This movie is based on the Richard Matheson novel of the same name from 1978 but differs a bit from the book which is well worth reading!

Robin Williams plays Dr Chris Nielsen who meets artist Annie (Annabella Sciorra) whilst on holiday in Switzerland and they just click, perfectly.

They marry and have a lovely life with two kids and everything is going along nicely when disaster strikes in the form of a car crash in which their children die. The aftermath sees Annie having a nervous breakdown and marriage problems but thankfully they manage to keep things together. A year later Chris is involved in a car crash and is killed.

The movie goes on as Annie tries to cope and follows what has happened to Chris. . . .I won't give any more away.

Sciorra and Williams give amazingly heartwarming and at the same time heartbreaking performances which anybody who has found their soulmate will be able to relate to. The depictions of heaven in this movie are brilliant and possibly one of the best for myself. The scenes were shot using Fuji Velvia film which gives very vivid colours and portrays Williams' own heaven amazingly here as well as hell resulting in a well deserved oscar for special effects.

Definitely worth watching at least once.
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on 10 October 2003
ok so how many words can you get out of a thesaurus that coincides with spectacular? this film is truly magnificent, its just one of those films which you dont get sick of, i used to watch it almost daily and im of a young adolescent age, and yes iam straight, thats how powerful a film it is! trust in me ladies and gentleman its a tear quencher, i loved every minute of it and i still do! its good to watch when your really angry or upset because you can just get rid of all your anger and float away or you can cry along with robin, lets face it, this film is underrated and should be in my opinion in the top 100 emotional films of all time. if you like a good depressing film with a really nice ending this is the one for you!
if this were a meal you were about to eat id say some of my del boy french thrases, oh what the hell!
Bon appetite
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on 13 March 2009
I had actually read the book before watching this film, which was helpful as I was already aware of the story. Robin Williams, the main character, dies and does not realise at first that he is dead. He desperately wants to be able to speak to his wife, who is still alive. She later dies and they meet up in the afterlife. I found I enjoyed the book more as you had to use your own imagination, and sometimes the film did not match mine! However it is a beautiful film, very well acted. It is also a film which (if you enjoy the subject matter) you will want to watch again as first time round you might miss salient bits on first viewing.What Dreams May Come [DVD] [1998]
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on 6 January 2016
Really love this film & wanted to let my hubby watch it & luckily I found it on Amazon. It's not for everyone though with the subject matter & the way it's portrayed. Robin Williams is really good as is the rest of the cast. Watch it & judge for yourselves. Keep a tissue handy though to dab the eyes.
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on 28 June 2013
Vincent Ward was one of the most imaginative directors of all time in my opinion and is much missed. With this film and in collaboration with Eugenio Zanetti, he reaches some kind of peak. The use of the dead Williams in his wife's paintings is inspired, the visions of Heaven are fine. But the image of the entrance to Hell as a vast wasteland of burning ships is stunning and takes the breath away. Superb! Hell itself as an upside-down cathedral entered by a field sowed with the heads of the damned is amazing and is both definitely influenced by and would have impressed both Dante and Gustav Dore.
Ward and Zanetti should have every reason to be proud of themselves.
That is the good news.
The bad news is that the script is DIRE BEYOND BELIEF!! 'What Dreams May Come' was originally written by the great and sadly also deceased Richard Matheson. As an updating of Dante's 'Commedia Divina' it is witty and ingenious, not to mention inspired and as a complex discussion of the afterlife, it is awesome. This is because of the readiness to deal with the problems of love and what it demands. Matheson's book is almost downright gritty compared to this mush! The pain suffered by those left behind and the ghastly seance in the book are completely ignored. The crucial, agonisingly drawn-out scene where Chris finally meets the understandably traumatised Anne in Hell, tries and manages to reach her always brings tears to my eyes when I read it and you can almost feel the catharsis and triumph of love.
Here you feel cheated by the glib few minutes given over to the meeting. It is like being smothered under a mass of soggy white bread.
The final insult is when the reunited couple whimsically decide to get reincarnated just for the fun of it. In the book Anne is punished for her suicide by the relentless 'scientific law' of reincarnation in a suuering form as a handicapped child in India, so to reach her he has himself reincarnated in the desperate hope of meeting her.
The crucial words in the book are said by Chris when he finally gets through to Anne by the depths of his love to reignite her almost stifled love:
"Let this Hell be our Heaven"
In spite of Vincent Ward's superb work, The Script and Acting put Hell into any Heaven
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