Well? Is Hereafter (the film I reviewed and the post on which was Freshly Pressed some months ago) meant to have subtitles? I don’t know the answer to this question. I may have watched the film, but I honestly have no idea about subtitles. I speak French, and so was oblivious to whether they were or weren’t used in those parts of the film where French was spoken.
But this question has become one of the most frequently used search terms leading to my blog. It comes up most days. If it’s one persistent googler, I hate to think of this one person on the planet desperate to know the answer to this most pressing of issues, and who just keeps ending up with my unilluminating post. Do they optimistically click the link only to have their hopes dashed each time when they see my post remains unchanged?
Or is it not just one person? Assuming it’s not some odd spammy thing, maybe there’s a whole group of people out there analyzing Hereafter in great depth on some film studies course, and a seminar question touches on this very point? If that’s the case, it’s a long running seminar with extremely flexible deadlines.
Maybe the question is a lot deeper than I think. I first understood it to be an anguished cry: Is Hereafter meant to have subtitles…because there aren’t any and I can’t understand the French bits? But this on reflection, this is a nonsensical interpretation of the question. It is unthinkable that a US film employing French would not have used subtitles, even I can’t remember seeing any.
So a more intriguing interpretation would be: Is Hereafter MEANT to have subtitles? Wouldn’t it be a better/more interesting cinematic experience if it dispensed with subtitles and left the monoglots of World English to rely on the charismatic acting of the French actors to work it all out? A difficult question indeed. You can start to appreciate the frustrations of the googlers out there just not getting anywhere.
So any thoughts on this topic to help them have a more meaningful web surf? Please, please leave your comments below. At least when they hit my blog in future there will then be something new for them to think about.