The film “Me before you” came out 23 May 2016 (world premiere), received mainly positive reviews in official media: “more than just a tragic romance”, “an exceedingly emotional, insightful and thought provoking film, which just might even change the way you look at life”, “a heartbreakingly romantic novel”… As judged by these epithets, review’s authors either have not watched the movie, or have not strongly penetrated to its essence. A picture about smart, clear-headed young man, who makes a suicide in hand of heartbroken parents and his beloved, can hardly be called a light, kind and romantic movie. If only with sarcasm.
Lou Clark – a podgy, dullish, easily amused woman, having a loudly-disgusting taste in clothes and all her conscious life worked in a café. She is dating with uninteresting to her body-builder (below about the attitude towards physical culture and sport), and generally pointlessly and without any show of talent living her life. Having lost her job in a café, Lou finds herself in a difficult situation and can’t find a new one. Nothing suits her – she’s afraid of birds, and can’t work at a beauty salon. At the same time she is a sole provider in a family, because her father is also unemployed, and her sister, having come back from the university, instead of a high education brought a bastard.
In this situation Lou – an everlasting optimist, not acquainted with a dress-code concept, is trying very hard to find such a job that will allow not to work. If she were nineteen, her behavior would be understandable, but she, according to the plot, is turning… twenty seven.
Will Traynor – a 31-year old multimillionaire, handsome, smart… and disabled, a wheelchair bound. In spite of the fact, that he keeps a clear mind, his character has strongly gone bad, and a young man, being in a state of permanent depression, decides to suicide. His decision is not spontaneous, but well-thought out and distinctly organized. Since he is a modern person, he signs a contract with a certain hospital in Switzerland, in order to beautifully die there in a hospital bed under surveillance of “doctors”.
Hopeless parents of a guy find Lou and by some reasons, which only they know, hire her nurse to their son. A girl of inadequate behavior, without any medical or physiological education. Pay her a magnifical salary, even though a work she got – just right as she imagined – gut course. Don’t need to clean, wash, carry out the pot and other tendance after the ill, don’t need to treat – there is a guy-doctor on all these, also attached to Will.
Obviously, an affair begins between the heroes, except for Will only waits of his departure and not going to cancel it even on behalf of a new love. Lou is trying to prove the beloved, that life is beautiful, and for that even arranges a big super-travel, of sorts a “honey moon”.
There are some positive meanings in the movie, which bribe, and without which it would be hard to implement negative ones.
Emilia Clarke, a role performer of Lou, apparently purposely gained weight for the role, to show by her appearance of a regular, average girl, how she, despite of lack of skill of dressing and doing make-up, still deserves love. Taking into account the inescapable propaganda of an unhealthy angularity, starting from children’s cartoons, toys and ending up with a distorted modern fashion industry, this moment is a big plus.
Love changes a person
The other positive side of the film – is the idea, that young people during communication re-educate each other, promptly opening new sides and helping to develop the potential, grow mentally. This is what happens to Lou, who as a result of communicating with Will, becomes more sophisticated, loves intelligent movies, classical music, learned a foreign language, learned to dress-up and behave on public. Same with Will – he stares to smile again, to laugh, becomes braver, more communicative, and as it seemed stared to value life, at least, Lou and the audience till the final hoped for that.
Now let’s turn to the film’s disadvantages
In the plot there is some love triangle – Will, Lou and Patrick – Lou’s boyfriend, who slowly and surely not being in the ball game. However, this romantic love “triangle” lacks any love or romance. Each hero is synonymic to a one negative subject of the movie.
Mockery of sport (Patrick)
Patrick can be described in one word – a body-builder. Being initially dumb, he looks even more primitive against Lou. A rest for him – it is only a sports contest, a life – constant trainings, and his beloved, absolutely not sharing such desire to sport, is playing supporting roles. His partisan disposition, lack of delicacy, constant talks about his achievements, at bottom, discredits not only sportsmen, but all, who is trying to lead a healthy lifestyle in general.
Prostitution instead of love (Lou)
Lou’s story – is in a certain sense a Cinderella story, however, in this story has been noticed a clear incline towards prostitution, the prostitution without sex, but with fake friendships, fake love and love relationships, in which a heroine is only interested in a financial part of a question. It’s becoming clear from the very beginning, that the rest of house inhabitants see in Lou some way of escaping for Will – a girl, who had been hired in order to make Will to feel himself a man (practically a quotation of Will’s father).
The heroine have never expressed herself as an amorous girl, as the one, who takes care about a guy not because she is orderly enough, and this is her job, but because she’s really in love. A girl is being given herself away by rather pragmatic words from her mouth, that she needs to help parents and this is the only reason why she works with Will – during the film Lou threatens to leave Will minimum four times, the understanding that her house lacks money, that’s exactly what stops her.
But the most important in romantic feelings of Lou – is the reaction on his death. As judged by it, everything falls into place. After a short-time after the suicide of the beloved, Lou finds herself in Paris, eats a cake with gusto, and, not taking off a happy smile from her face, reads a letter from Will. In it he talks that he knows a store of perfect perfume for her, and also that he has left a big sum of money for her on a bank account. Over the wings of happiness in the final shots Lou slowly proceeds to the store for the perfume.
By her behavior in this final scene, Lou personifies malicious jokes about young wives’ behavior on funerals of their rich old husbands. Perhaps, without this scene, the heroine would not have looked as such repellent character. Even without this final accord, associations with another picture about love of a girl to her employer show through – the film “Me before you” is filled with different dispatches to the film “Pretty Woman”.
Suicide instead of love (Will)
Will is an even more egoistic hero. If from the beginning it seems, that a young man just in depression, and he really needs a qualified help of a specialist (by the way, there is no mentioning in the movie about any psychologist, who has been trying to help Will to get out of his condition, which does not look logically), then as the time goes by it becomes clear, that Will not in depression. He takes an unbiased look on a situation that happens and makes his conscious choice, on the basis of his understanding of life and his worldview. Many characters have been told, that a right to suicide – is his conscious choice, which can not be condemned. As if film creators are trying to implement this inhuman program in the viewer’s head.
Especially the conflict of protectors and enemies of euthanasia is tracked in Lou’s parents. Her mother, wearing a cross on a chest, says right things, that a person in such condition can’t be trusted to take decisions like that, that the happening – is a judicial murder etc. Compared to her, Lou’s father tells the daughter a long lecture, that she should love Will the way he is, and accept-love all his decisions. After that the farewell with still alive Will goes in light tones with smiling Lou’s parents and herself.
What are the reasons of Will’s suicide decision?
88 minute of the film:
Lou – I understand, you did not dream about such life, but I can make you happy.
Will – No. I know that this can be a good life. But this is not my life. Not any more.
So, the reasons, why Will Traynor passed away, which voiced personally by him:
- He can’t surf, do extreme sports, attend parties, have fun, and dance any more.
- He can’t be attractive to women.
- He can’t have sex any more.
- Gets sick often, suffers from pain.
- Feels awkwardness in relation to his condition and faces domestic difficulties.
As we see, only two last points deserve at least any attention, but even they do not hold water. Following the logic of Will Traynor, one needs to settle accounts with life with the onset of a certain age. Why – less attractiveness, all the more to sexuality, no way to do active sports. Why else to live, one may ask?
Will has a great prosperity and is the only one heritor of his very rich parents, he can manage a business, read scientific, artistic, publicistic texts to a secretary, give back to the community, invest in medicine, including helping people, like he is. He can dedicate his life to the society, people, at least his parents, loving him to bits. But he does not want do. Since all he knows and loves in this life – is extreme, entertainments and sex. Solely hedonist and material “meanings of existence”.
Will, explaining to Lou, that he still prepares to die:
90 minute of the film:
- I can’t see how you are running across the house in insane dresses. Or see you naked and I… can’t do anything! O, Clark! You can’t imagine, what I would want to do with you now…
In other words, even Lou’s love is not enough for him, since this love will be without sex.
This movie is taken in such philosophy, where there is no soul, not highest purposes, nothing. One fails to pity the hero, who leaves loving and caring about him people grieve about him, hiding behind such “reasons”, especially against real people, not having a small amount of such prosperity, opportunities as this hero has, but for all that managing to live for the sake of peace, society, nearest and family.
In all societies a suicide has always been blamed. Why? Because a voluntary separation from life, not connected to some great goal, – is a demonstration of egoism towards the surrounded world, demonstration of weakness and lack of willpower. Each person can make this world a better place even on a micro level of his family. And one doesn’t have to be beautiful, have two legs and ten fingers.
This movie depreciates achievements of thousands of disabled people and those, who strive for heights in life, one in science, one in culture and even in sports (Paralympics), but even more depreciates the achievement of those, who simply live with their families, given the chance deliver children or adopt them, find one’s love, one’s destination… Sometimes living for the sake of inspiring others, sometimes just enjoying life as much as practical. Overcoming pain, overcoming humiliation, fake pity to them from other people, this people live and strive for their lives.
And what this “romantic” and “kind” movie offers for them? It offers to suicide to anyone, who can’t do sports or sex, to anyone, who is torn off from entertainments and pleasures, just because the moviemakers simply don’t see and know the other meaning in life.