Wednesday, 15 June 2016
Me Before You
Last week I went to the cinema to watch Me Before You. This film is based on the book by Jo Jo Moyes who, I understand, also wrote the screenplay for the film.
I'd already read the book (and wept copiously) so I was interested to see how the film would turn out. Then I watched the trailer and I decided it was definitely a film to go and watch at the cinema rather than wait for the dvd to come out.
And I was glad that I did. I thought the film was wonderful and for a brief period I managed to escape my life and get lost in someone else's. The film has caused quite a bit of controversy particularly regarding the fact that an able bodied person has written about disability without the knowledge of what disability feels like. It has also brought controversy on the subject of assisted suicide. I'm sure by now most people know the ending, but just in case anyone is reading who doesn't, then I'm not going to give it away. But what I will say is that I don't think the storyline was ever meant to be representative of a group of people. This story is a work of fiction and as such its the author's interpretation of what she thought it would be like to be a fit, healthy and incredibly sporty and competitive young man who had everything he could wish for, suddenly to have it all ripped away from him. True, she wasn't writing it from a perspective of having lived the experience, but the same could be said about historical novelists or crime writers; you don't have to have lived through the period or to have killed someone to write convincingly about it.
Obviously this is just my opinion, but I think Jo Jo Moyes took this one fictional character and tried to imagine how he would feel and what he would do in that situation. And what he did was make a choice. It might not be the right choice for everyone but it was the one she thought he would make and at least he had one. In her novel what she also did was successfully create characters the reader cared about. I cried when I read the book and the cinema was full of people sniffing into their hankies, so I think she got the screenplay right too.
Often when you watch a film after first having read the book, the film can be a disappointment as it can be chopped and changed around too much. This didn't happen here, probably because she wrote it herself.
The actors have received much praise for their roles in this film and I wholeheartedly agree with that. The setting was wonderful too, and that was a pleasure to watch on its own.
I think this is definitely going to be the Brit flick of 2016 and I hope it will be watched time and time again in the same way that Four Weddings And A Funeral, Love Actually and Notting Hill are.
Just one last note, Mr Bates (Downton Abbey) was brilliant as the dad!
If you do see this film I hope you enjoy too.