Collateral Beauty of Love, Time and Death!

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Collateral Beauty

is a 2016 fantasy/drama directed by David Frankel who rose to prominence with his 2006 directorial ‘The Devil Wears Prada’, written by Allen Loeb? The film has a strong star cast including Academy Award winners Will Smith, Kate Winslet, and Helen Mirren, and Academy Award nominees Kiera Knightley, Edward Norton with Michael Pena, and Naomi Harris.

The story is about how we can see the beauty of collateral, and how there is love in all forms of pain. The 2016 film follows the story of Howard Inlet who suffers the tragedy of his daughter’s death, his pain pushes him to write letters to things. Later, he starts to see the things to which he wrote the letter. The three cosmos of Life are Love, Time, and Death!




Howard Inlet (Will Smith) is a successful advertising executive who works in New York with his three partners Whit Yardsham, Claire Wilson, and Simon Scott. Howard is a visionary with a cheerful personality who is also dedicated to his job. At the beginning of the movie, he explains to his employees that their job isn’t just to sell their job is to connect with people.

His insightful perspective of connecting with people with advertising is what makes him the best in business. He defines advertising as a light that illuminates people’s lives with the products that they promote. His way of achieving this goal is to understand the three abstracts of life that is Love, Time, and Death


 “At the end of the day we long for love, we wish we had more time and we fear Death.”


a couple walking
Howard Inlet and Love

Also Read: Thelma And Louise: Much Needed Ending


After suffering from a tragic loss, he isolates himself from everyone, even after 3 years he still grieves his daughter’s death. His partners who are his friends are worried about his health and the future of the company as his absence has led to bankruptcy. Whit, Claire, and Simon hire a private investigator to prove that Howard is not mentally well because of the loss that he suffered.

This will get him to give up his majority shares of the company after which they can sell it. After following Howard’s tracks for a couple of weeks, the investigator finds out some not-so-common stuff about him. She tells his friends that he has been sending letters to things. The three cosmoses of life. Love, Time, and death.

Whit, Claire, and Simon decide to hire three actors Amy, Raffi, and Brigitte who will confront Howard as Love, Time, and Death. And record him having conversations with them which will come in handy to prove that Howard is not mentally fit to make business decisions. When he starts to believe that he is losing his mind, he attends a support group led by Madeleine who has also lost her daughter in the past. She tells him about “collateral Beauty” which means even if something bad happens, things will change, things will get better. All you have to do is believe.

“Sorrow and grief are followed by selfless kindness”

Grief, Pain And Sorrow


a lady wearing blue dress looking at someone suspiciously
Helen Mirren as Death.

Will Smith’s exceptional performance in every single scene laid out another fact that he should have won the Oscar sooner. The pain in the eyes through which he not only convinces the viewers but also the cosmos themselves that they are wrong. All the philosophical things that we say to each other when someone goes through a loss are just some random words put together that may sound meaningful and peaceful but in the end, the absence of the person we love, the immense pain and grief that we feel is beyond imaginable.

Howard’s second interaction with Death (Brigitte: played by Helen Mirren) is one of the most powerful scenes where ‘Death” tells him a story about ‘Life After Birth’. After listening to it he also says all the clichéd things just like her story that people say when someone dies.

His resentful tone and taunting mannerisms tell us how meaningless and hollow every single one of them is. He even tells her his favorite one which is “God looked down he saw the most beautiful rose so beautiful, that he picked it to have it in heaven all for himself”. He breaks down all beliefs from every religion there is and doesn’t even leave poetry.

This scene sums up grief in such a beautiful way, that it couldn’t be more perfect. He just looks straight into the eyes of ‘Death’ and says that he knows that you are a natural part of life. We shouldn’t hate you. We shouldn’t fear you. I guess, we should just accept you. He gets all of it but the truth is “it is all an intellectual bullsh__t that we tell each other”.

Come back to reality, as the one person you love the most is still gone.


What is the film Collateral Damage about?:

A New Yorker suffers a tragedy and starts writing letters to Love, Time & Death and the story unfolds on those lines



Also, Read Did You Know Christopher Nolan Wasn’t The One Who Came Up With This Line From The Dark Knight?

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