Sunday, June 5, 2016

Movie Review: Me Before You

One of the few romance films I'll make it to this year, Me Before You is based on a novel of the same title by Jojo Moyes. The story tells of a young woman who struggles to find consistent employment to help her family and is employed by a wealthy son of an English family that was paralyzed after being struck by a motorbike in the street. Emilia Clarke continues to attempt to branch out from her starring role in the hit HBO series Game of Thrones and the failure of Terminator Genisys and plays Lou Clark. Sam Claflin play Will Traynor the moody male lead after several roles in movies like the Hunger Games and the fourth Pirates of the Carribean.

Clarke is better as the goofy smiling caretaker than as the Queen of Dragons. She sports her natural brown hair in place of the Targaryen blonde in which she achieved her fame. Claflin is moody and sarcastic as he is upset with his circumstances. The supporting cast included Charles Dance who unfortunately will never encounter Emilia Clarke in the world of Westeros but runs on and off the screen for a few parts here as Will's father. Janet McTeer plays Will's mother who hires Lou to take care of her son. Matthew Lewis appears as Clark's boyfriend, a fitness buff, as he looks for work beyond his days as Harry Potter's Neville Longbottom.

The chemistry between Claflin and Clarke could have been better but I guess the story stresses that Will Traynor remains aloof in the face of his growing affection for  Lou. Traynor also has large sums of wealth as a few dialogue lines suggest that he owns a castle in a small village in England and is able to travel wherever he wants no matter the expense.

I understand the controversy with the awful message the movie portrays as a man that finds himself disabled feeling like he no longer wants to live and takes actions to kill himself. The major conflict of the story extends from his decision to take his life using a Swedish company. The emotional core of the story is built on a false premise but plenty of girls were crying in the theater and the film has had decent performance at the box office being one of the few films for women this year, so it is doubtful any of the creators will learn to be better informed from this movie. There is an interesting discussion about a person's ability to choose whether to live or die proposed but the movie does not concern itself much with this philosophical discussion.

It is also unfortunate that this will be one of the few films with a disabled character coming out this year and the actor was not cast appropriately. The film does not hold back once the scenes push to turn from a comedy to a tragedy. The theater was surprisingly filled for a Sunday showing and may continue to earn money as there are not many other options for viewers seeking romance. 

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