Movie review by Andrea Karen Hammer
Based on the bestselling novel by Jojo Moyes, the film adaptation of Me Before You raises compelling questions about the decision to ends one’s life.
Story About Wheelchair-Bound Young Man’s Final Decision
From the start of the puzzling title prompt, we are pulled through wrenching circumstances in the movie, exploring the ability to put others’ wishes before our own. A previously vibrant but now wheelchair-bound young man has designated 6 months to determine if he will continue living after a motorcycle destroys his once-active life.
In an on-point performance, Sam Claflin as Will Traynor stays the course as his mother, Camilla Traynor (Janet McTeer) searches for ways to reverse his decision. After a series of caregivers have departed through a revolving door because of Will’s dark moods and sharp tongue, his mother hires the perky and ever-cheerful Lou Clark (Emilia Clarke) to counter Will’s resistance.
Arriving in a variety of colorful outfits, Lou’s expressive face and beseeching eyebrows are continually met with Will’s back, as he stares forlornly out the window and insists that he wants to be alone.
Realistic and Credible Portrayals in Surprising Film
Throughout the movie, our group remained deeply engaged. One of our film watchers attributed the immersive experience to the realistic and credible portrayals.
“She put his comfort before hers, trying to get him to do things like traveling,” she said. “He felt that he had the experiences.”
Another member of our group commented on the “surprising film with a touching ending.” When asked to elaborate, he referred to the way that Will finally accepted Lou.
It was particularly surprising that “she hung in there and went back after knowing his plan,” he said.
Through the actors’ agility balancing dark and light moments, this movie with a sorrowful theme escapes the veil of morbidity. As Lou hatches a bucket list travel plan to re-engage Will in life, we watch her delightfully zany tactics slowly revive his spirit–if not his final decision.
Those with disabilities as well as their family members, friends and caregivers will particularly relate to–and appreciate–this movie about others dealing with serious health issues. Anyone interested in films with unexpected romance and themes about our capacity to reach beyond perceived limits will find that the issues addressed in Me Before You continue to linger.
Artsphoria’s Online Film Forum Questions
Can you explain the meaning of this book and film title in relation to the story and outcome?
How did the bestselling novel by Jojo Moyes compare with the film adaptation of Me Before You? Do you prefer to read a book before or after the movie, and why?
Post your comments, and spread the word about Artsphoria’s film forum! Then, check out more film and arts news on Artsphoria International Magazine.