‘Collateral Beauty,’ heart wrenching with a hint of manipulation

With a superstar cast of Will Smith, Kate Winslet, Keira Knightly, Helen Mirren and more, along with a trailer sure to suck you in, this movie gave high hopes for an emotional roller coaster. However, it was more manipulative and selfish than heartfelt. Where is the beauty in that?

The film is based around businessman Howard Inlet (Smith) who lost his young daughter and ultimately his will to live or work. He mindlessly sets up picturesque domino structures at work, which raises concern from his colleagues. Coworkers and friends Whit Yardshaw (Edward Norton), Claire Wilson (Kate Winslet) and Simon Scott (Michael Peña) decide they must do something about Inlet or their jobs and company’s future will be in jeopardy.

To gain control, they hire a private investigator to prove that Inlet is mentally unable to run the company, and in the process, they discover that Inlet wrote letters to Love, Time and Death as a method of coping.

How did the PI get the letters? By breaking into Inlet’s mailbox of course. With this new information, the trio hire some actors to pose as Love, Time and Death. The motif of unethical behavior is prevalent throughout the film.

When the actors confront Inlet, the PI films the conversations and digitally removes the actors in the video to show that Inlet is not talking to anyone, proving he is mentally unstable.

“Collateral Beauty” is sure to tug on those heartstrings of yours, but the execution of the plot is more like collateral damage.

Anna Porretta can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_arts on Twitter.