Robin Williams' 'What Dreams May Come': A Cinematic Journey into the Depths of the Soul

Robin Williams’ ‘What Dreams May Come’: A Cinematic Journey into the Depths of the Soul

Robin Williams’ ‘What Dreams May Come’ is a visually stunning and emotionally profound film that takes viewers on a journey into the depths of the soul. Released in 1998 and directed by Vincent Ward, the film explores themes of love, loss, and the afterlife. Through its breathtaking cinematography, heartfelt performances, and thought-provoking narrative, ‘What Dreams May Come’ offers a unique and transformative cinematic experience.

1. A Glimpse into the Afterlife

The film begins by introducing us to Chris Nielsen, played by Robin Williams, a successful neurologist happily married to his soulmate, Annie, portrayed by Annabella Sciorra. Their idyllic life is shattered when their two children die in a tragic car accident. As they navigate the depths of grief, Chris suddenly dies in a subsequent car crash.

Here, the audience is given a glimpse into the afterlife, depicted as a realm shaped by the individual’s thoughts and beliefs. Chris finds himself in a vibrant and surreal world, both beautiful and haunting. The visual effects used to portray this afterlife are awe-inspiring, with vibrant colors and artistic renderings that captivate the viewer’s imagination.

2. The Power of Love and Redemption

As the narrative unfolds, ‘What Dreams May Come’ delves into the power of love and the concept of redemption. Chris learns that his wife, Annie, has committed suicide due to her overwhelming grief. Determined to rescue her soul from eternal damnation, Chris embarks on a perilous journey through the far reaches of the afterlife.

Throughout his odyssey, Chris encounters different levels of existence, each representing different states of consciousness and emotional turmoil. This exploration of the human psyche highlights the transformative power of love and the lengths one will go to save those they care about.

3. Embracing the Darkness within the Soul

In ‘What Dreams May Come,’ the film also delves into the concept of embracing the darkness within the soul. As Chris traverses the afterlife, he confronts his own inner demons and learns to accept and integrate them. This journey towards self-acceptance and healing ultimately leads him towards a state of enlightenment.

The film challenges viewers to reflect on their own inner struggles and the societal pressures to suppress or deny certain emotions. Through Chris’ exploration of his own darkness, ‘What Dreams May Come’ encourages viewers to confront their own fears and traumas, embracing their authentic selves.

4. Finding Meaning and Purpose

One of the central themes in ‘What Dreams May Come’ is the search for meaning and purpose in life. As Chris embarks on his journey through the afterlife, he is confronted with the question of what truly matters. The film highlights the importance of love, connection, and the impact of one’s actions on others.

This exploration of existential questions invites viewers to contemplate their own lives and consider what gives them a sense of purpose and fulfillment. ‘What Dreams May Come’ encourages introspection and challenges the viewer to evaluate their own values and priorities.

In Conclusion

Robin Williams’ ‘What Dreams May Come’ is a visually stunning and emotionally captivating film that delves into profound themes of love, loss, and the afterlife. Through its breathtaking cinematography and thought-provoking narrative, the film invites viewers on a transformative journey into the depths of the soul. It challenges audiences to reflect on their own emotions, confront their inner demons, and contemplate the meaning and purpose of their lives. ‘What Dreams May Come’ is a cinematic masterpiece that leaves a lasting impact on the soul of its audience.


1. What is the plot of “What Dreams May Come”?

A man named Chris Nielsen dies in a car accident and explores the afterlife, searching for his wife who committed suicide.

2. Who directed “What Dreams May Come”?

The movie was directed by Vincent Ward.

3. When was “What Dreams May Come” released?

The film was released on October 2, 1998.

4. Who played the main character, Chris Nielsen?

Robin Williams portrayed the character of Chris Nielsen.

5. Which visual effects were used to create the afterlife scenes?

The afterlife scenes were created using a combination of traditional hand-painted art and digital effects.

6. How is the concept of heaven portrayed in the movie?

In the movie, heaven is portrayed as a personalized paradise where individuals can create their ideal environment.

7. What thematic elements are explored in “What Dreams May Come”?

The film explores themes such as love, death, redemption, and the power of the human spirit.

8. What type of film genre does “What Dreams May Come” belong to?

The movie belongs to the genre of fantasy drama.

9. Was “What Dreams May Come” a critical success?

While the film received mixed reviews, it won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

10. How did “What Dreams May Come” perform at the box office?

The film was a moderate success at the box office, grossing over $71 million worldwide.