By Cynthia Ayala
A girl in a small town forms an unlikely bond with a recently-paralyzed man she’s taking care of.
I know that there is some controversy about the film but what viewers have to understand, or know, is that Jojo Moyes didn’t just make this up, she was inspired by something she read in the news about a man who had this message to give the world: to life to the fullest. That is the message of the film and audiences need to see that beauty in it and need to see that not everything is black or white.
Sam Claflin plays Will Traynor who was a once-active young man who was injured in a motorcycle accident. The idea of the film is to get him to live again, but as a once carefree daredevil of a man who can’t move, he doesn’t want to go on living, not because he believes he’s a burden to anyone, but because he is someone who lived life to the fullest. Because of the drastic change, he feels like a phantom of who he once was. Then he meets Louisa, played by one beautiful Emilia Clarke who after finding out his desire to end his life, struggles to prove that his life is worth living.
Everything about the movie is about living life to the fullest. Now, while many people are content to live with their disabilities, there are many people out there who don’t want to, much like Will and I think that’s an important aspect for the film to address, that while many make it look like nothing has changed, for many, too much has changed and they aren’t someone they life. Claflin captures that wonderfully, he goes from someone who is incredibly bitter, someone who is unwilling to even leave his room to someone who can’t help but put a smile on Louisa’s face. He’s not living for himself he’s living for her, for his love of her and he doesn’t want to face a future where he can’t do what he wants, and love her the way he wants. It’s a hard subject to address but Moyes does it in a way that is both beautiful and heartbreaking. It’s real, and just like real life, not everything has a happy ending but that doesn’t mean it has to be sad. It’s a teaching moment about living your life to the fullest like anyone should and with a message as beautiful as that, what is so wrong?
Other than the message, the romance, and the chemistry between the actors was profound. Again, it was so realistic and beautiful to watch at the same time, and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t typically go watch romantic films, but with a cast and a message as beautiful as this film presents, it makes it a film to watch. More importantly, it doesn’t have to be just a date a night, it’s film everyone can appreciate because of the message and the realism within the film it is so much more than a romance film, it’s a film about life, about living, and about adventure. This isn’t a film to pass up on, trust me. It is heartfelt and it has so much realism to it alongside amazing performances from the entire cast. (★★★★ | A+)
Directed by Thea Sharrock
Screenplay by Jojo Moyes
Distributed by New Line Cinema