By Dave B.
What would happen if it were scientifically proven that existence (of some sort) existed after death? That’s the central question in The Discovery (Netflix). This movie received generally negative reviews from both critics and fans on Rotten Tomatoes, with scores of 47% and 44% respectively. I think the critics and the fans are way off the mark in this case.
The Discovery is a well-written and witty philosophical treatise on metaphysical, sociological, and existential issues associated with a society that not only no longer fears death, but eagerly embraces it. I found the irrationality that permeated the society (irrational because the nature of this after-death existence remains a mystery to nearly everyone) to be completely plausible. The acting was generally good. Jason Segel was decent as the protagonist, but Robert Redford and Jesse Plemons were solid, and Rooney Mara was pretty fantastic.
The plot wasn’t great, in the sense that I wasn’t especially invested in what happened to the protagonist, but it was also merely intended as a vehicle to have a philosophical conversation with the audience about how the uncertainty surrounding the nature of death enables society to function. For example, how would society view murders, suicides, or terminal illnesses if there were indisputable proof that death was not the end?
Some people aren’t into philosophical contemplations of death and I respect that. For me however, The Discovery provided more mental stimulation than I’ve had in years. I definitely recommend this movie and I suggest that you watch it with someone doesn’t mind talking about it with you for a few minutes, or hours, afterwards. 7/10