Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Movie Review: Me Before You

Me Before You, adapted from the bestselling Jojo Moyes book of the same name, with the screenplay written by Jojo Moyes herself as well, is an enjoyable, deeply emotional, affecting and charming film that chooses to focus on the bonds that are shared between the characters despite a simple plot. The story starts off with Sam Claflin as Will Traynor, a wealthy and successful young banker turned into a cynical quadriplegic after an accident. On the other hand, Emilia Clarke stars as Louisa Clark, a cheerful, expressive and easy-going middle class girl who's just lost her job and is desperate to get a new one due to her family's poor financial situation. Soon, she stumbles upon a unique job as a caretaker for Will Traynor without the need of any qualifications. As expected, they soon fall in love.

In all honesty, despite the simplicity of its plot, Me Before You is wonderfully elated by the genuinely endearing and enchanting performance of Emilia Clarke as Lou. Lou brought colour into Will's world by showing him the cheerful, genuine yet eccentric side of her while trying to encourage the man to start living again by organizing some outgoing events like watching horse races, going to the beach or a seemingly cheap concerto of Mozart's music. Clarke is further assisted by her wonderful co-star Sam Claflin. Their on-screen chemistry allows the moments in Me Before You to work remarkably and largely enjoyable to watch, slowly establishing rapport among themselves and let the romance to unfold in a touching and emotional manner while ignoring most of those chick flick clichés. The film is surprisingly enjoyable and is chock full of witty dialogues that guarantees to make a few laughs here and there.

Claflin's quadriplegic role as Will Turner was quite challenging as he can only emote with his facial expressions throughout the film. Surprisingly, Claflin's expressions were well done without being too excessive and extravagant. However, the film do lack of worthy 'villains' or 'opponents' for the leads and most of its tensions and conflicts are mainly from human dramas. Moreover, the scenic shots of the British countryside was breathtaking and lovely as well. Another worthy mention is definitely the film's perfect choice of songs for the background music as it adds more flavour to certain scenes in the film.

Unfortunately, the film suffers a lot of criticisms from the disabled community due to the film's ending. Many easily view it as an encouragement for disabled people to kill themselves (despite the fact that Will is rich, handsome and very loved) instead of finding the courage and purpose to live on and continue to fight with hope alive. But, I don't think Me Before You does that. It doesn't glamourise the disabled or dwell deeply enough with the controversial issue that it raises. It doesn't provide a forced, pretentious happily ever after or a dubious ending. It focuses on the relationship between two main leads instead.

On a final note, go watch it and judge it yourself. Don't be dissuaded by the negative critical reviews or opinions from your peers.

Rating: 8/10

Favourite Quotes from the film:
Will: When I was a kid, this used to be my favorite place in the whole world.
Lou: I think this would still be my favorite spot.
Will: That's because you haven't been anywhere.
Lou: Oh, so where's better than this then?
Will: Paris, Place Dauphine, right by the Pont Neuf. If I shut my eyes now, I know exactly how it feels to be in that little square.
Lou: So let's go! We could get on the Eurostar right now.
Will: You don't get it, Clark. I want to be in Paris as me, the old me.

Will: You would have never let those breasts so near to me if I wasn't in a wheelchair.
Lou: Yeah, well, you never would have been looking at these breasts if you hadn't been in a wheelchair.
Will: What? Of course I would have.
Lou: No, you wouldn't. You would have been too busy looking at the leggy blondes, the ones you can smell an expense account at 40 pages and, anyway, I would have been over there serving the drinks, one of the invisibles. Am I right?
Will: Yes, but in my defense, I was an arse.
Lou: Yep!
Will: Do you know something, Clark? You are pretty much the only thing that makes me want to get up in the morning.
Lou: Then let's go somewhere, anywhere in the world just you and me. What do you say? Say yes, Will, come on.
Will: Okay.

Will: This is the kind of place people come to when they've got tired of actually living.
Lou: I'm happy here.
Will: Well, you shouldn't be. You only get one life. It's actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.

Will: Lose the scarf. If you're going to wear a dress like that, Clark, you have to wear it with confidence.
Lou: Only you, Will Traynor, would tell a woman how to wear a bloody dress.

Will: I don't want you to miss all the things someone else could give you.

Lou: I have become a whole new person because of you.

Lou: I can't just let this happen.
Bernard: You can't change who people are.
Lou: Then what can you do?
Bernard: You love them.