13th July, 2016. 8:33pm
The last time I ugly cried at a movie inside the theater was when I watched the 2012 version of Les Misérables. I thought it would never happen again. I was wrong.
Like all book to film adaptations, Me Before You on the big screen pales in comparison to its book counterpart. I mean, come on, books will always be better than the movies. ALWAYS. Still, it didn’t stop me from ugly crying by the end of the movie, and I had to watch it three times to compose this review, as well as myself. I loved Sam Claflin as Will Traynor. I loved Emilia Clarke as sassy Louisa Clark, and although there are things from the book that I prefer more than what they’ve shown in the movie, I still like it. I wouldn’t have watched it 3x if I hated every minute of it.
When I shared my review of the book, I said that, if I was put in the same situation as Lou and Will, I might said okay to Dignitas. After seeing the film, I realized that my thoughts haven’t changed. It’s unbearable to watch the person you have learned to love take their own life, but it’s not up to us to decide our fate. It’s also the other thing I learned from this film; No one decides your fate but you.
I mean, take a look at the characters. No matter what Louisa or Will’s mother does, Will still wants to die. Patrick tried so hard to keep Louisa to himself but in the end, he realized he can’t make her follow what he wants solely for his own good. Even Treena; despite having a son out of wedlock, and what people say about her, she decides that if there’s one thing people can’t take away from her, it’s her desire to continue learning by going back to school. Because I realized that in this movie, and in the book, no one can tell you how to run your life, but yourself. People can push you in a certain direction, but it’s always up to us if we’re going with it or another direction.
Watching Me Before You, I can’t help but think about what Will did. After the movie, which I watched with my cousins, they said that the movie was such a downer because he died. I said, “well, Will had a great life. He loved his old life so much that he can’t bear to live longer with his current situation, knowing that he can no longer do what he used to do. Plus, if you try to look at it in Will’s perspective, it was like he doesn’t want to burden other people with his own pain, so he’d rather die than have someone give him a bath every single day.” And after the movie, I realized I understand him, his struggles, so much. If I was in his position and I loved my life before I had an accident that left me quadriplegic, I’d rather die as well than wake up every single day feeling useless. At the same time, however, I also feel Lou’s pains and frustrations so much.
Like that scene in the beach when she admitted to Will that she already knows. Lou thought that she was succeeding, until Will told her that he hadn’t changed his mind. How hard is it, hearing the person you have grown to love, tell you that you’re not enough reason for him to want to keep living? That, no matter what you do and say, he still want to end his life? And, after running away and distancing yourself away from him, you realized that you still care what happens to him, that you still want to see him until his last breath? The thing is, I didn’t cry during the movie. I cried at the end, when Louisa was walking away from the perfumery and the song and end credits started rolling. True, a lump started forming in my throat when Will asked Lou to look at him one last time and she was refusing, shaking her head “no,” and then he goes to say, “the world will be a better place without me” but it wasn’t until Louisa reads his letter that had me balling like a baby. It was just too painful.
When I opened and started reading the book, I didn’t realize it would have an impact on me like it did. Now, all I wanted was to read After You, the sequel to the book. I can’t wait to finish it and tell you all about it. I just hope it will give me the same feels its prequel gave me.
PS: Did you know Telegraph UK reported that Disabled rights groups got angry by this movie because some people think that it endorses assisted suicide? That for them, Me Before You tells that disabled people are better off dead? I get where they’re coming from, but I’d have to disagree on this. Will Traynor’s story is just one side of the coin, and does not represent the entire disabled community. Just because someone else’s opinion doesn’t match our own doesn’t mean they’re wrong.