Me Before You is being called the romantic movie of the year, with an all-star cast this is a film certainly not to be missed. Based on the book, of the same name, that has sold more than six million copies since being published, Me Before You is a love story centred around Will Traynor, a former active jet-setting banker turned quadriplegic played by Sam Claflin and his carer, Lousia “Lou” Clarke played by Emilia Clarke.
Overall I did enjoy this film, it’s a not so traditional love story. It focuses on the situation the characters are in rather than the love story that is clearly present, this is refreshing as many stories focus on romance. At the very core, this film is two people trying to get the other to see how great their life could be, who just happen to fall in love whilst doing so. Me Before You is a human film with three dimensional characters made even more superb by brilliant actors (even if the line up is mainly made up of the cast of Game Of Thrones) I’m astounded how a film that is undoubtedly a tear-jerker got me laughing as much as it did. Louisa Clarke is girl who you will want to be friends with, mainly because you would want to raid her wardrobe for those creative and unique combinations. Whereas Will Traynor is the man who you would want to be taken out by, despite his situation he is clearly still a witty, charming man, who is unfortunately haunted by the harsh reality that he will never be the man he once was. It is true that it differs from the book, not greatly, but just enough that anyone who has read it in the last year before watching it would notice.
Lou’s determination to get Will to live and stop him from travelling to Switzerland to end his life, is remarkable. Emilia Clarke’s impeccable acting shows her going from this quirky, clumsy girl to a passionate, strong headed, independent woman. I can relate to Lou a lot, therefore a certain favour could be present. All of the cast are stunning, but Janet McTeer and Charles Dance really show how honed their acting skills are. Playing parents in a situation no parent ever wants to be in, they handle the roles of Mr and Mrs Traynor with respect and ease. For me, McTeer shone in the airport scene, I couldn’t imagine the translation from page to screen to be more flawless, partially due to her acting, she managed to convey so many deep emotions without uttering a word. Amazing.
If they wanted to make an impression they certainly have with this film, it’s premiere was a stage for disability right protests, without a doubt it has raised questions amongst able-bodies people about the presentation of disabled people. As Will’s choice to end his own life has been seen as one that is sending the common opinion that all people in his situation no longer want to live. I don’t agree or disagree with this view, I know it’s easy to sit on the fence with big issues such as this, but I truly believe that we need to see more disabled people on our screens, because we are not a total able bodied society. Saying that we need to recognise that not everyone who is put in these traumatic situations aren’t always full of positive energy and sometimes they don’t always see things the same way we able bodied people do. Surely it’s better that Will was shown ending his life in a dignified, if not controversial, way, rather than the shocking real manner of suicides that are present in the world.
Me Before You isn’t a film desperately trying to be a book, it has it’s own grounding from the book, something that is desperately lacking in the majority of book to movie adaptations we see today.