Flatliners (1990) Review


Five medical students are curious about what lies beyond the living world and decide to enter into the unknown and experiment with death. Flatlining for a few minutes to see what answers they receive, but it brings up past tragedies which influence life as they know it.


Nelson Wright comes up with the idea of being “killed” or having his heart stopped to make it sound less dramatic and for his fellow students to bring him back after a minute, this then leads to a dangerous game as the rest of them decide to try to outbid one another for the chance for the experience the next time.

The problem is though that when they were brought back they were also bringing something back with them, haunted by bad memories of the the past and things they had done/been involved with. This made it very tricky to function normally again as they  could not quite work out what was happening with the different dreams or memories they were then having.

I found the concept behind everything to be very interesting in terms of everyone at some time wonders what happens after we die. So these students pushing the boundaries to go there and come back and hopefully have answers was something we can all relate to. It always made for the writers and director to put across what they think could happen and that is the story we get on-screen.

What we can take from the storyline is that the decisions you make will have an impact on your afterlife. The bad things seemed to cause the problems for our characters as they had to deal with this when coming back to life. Each character had a different problem they had to come to terms with and decide whether to share this information with the rest of the group, this would obviously change how they were viewed by them. So basically we all must think about the choices that we make and how it could br perceived as bad or horrible behaviour.

Julia Roberts and Kevin Bacon offered the best performances in the film and I actually wanted to see more scenes with them together, as they certainly had some great chemistry. Roberts was the only female character and I could not help but be on her side when the male characters were trying to “protect” and look after her more than they did to each other. It just shows that even back in 1990 we had some strong roles for women, especially this era and Julia Roberts being the main star! Kiefer Sutherland was more in the leading role compared to everyone else and I thought the pain and emotion his character went through was impressive. William Baldwin was much better than I expected we all know the joking around it being all about Alec, but you cannot fault his presence in this film.

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