This review may contain mild spoilers
Among the dream team cast in our list, Sam Claflin (Love, Rosie) and Emilia Clarke (Terminator Genisys) who recently make out in Me Before You, might be one of those pairs we like to see more in the future. Charming look and alluring chemistry they’ve got despite the self-determination issue caught in a cynical situation. Let’s talk the first first.
Just like classic Tom Hanks – Meg Ryan, comical Adam Sandler – Drew Barrymore, or combustible Ryan Gosling – Emma Stone, Claflin- Clarke gives that rare nuance of cinematic chemistry which might make both a reliant and effective pair. But unfortunately, unlike the first three, Me Before You fails its lovely pair to show their maximum, shoves them away cos the movie script doesn’t want to cope with pain or at least, an alternate ending.
Plotwise, Me Before You reminds us of Julia Roberts’s Dying Young (1991) but without the controversy. Instead of approving one’s right to die, Dying Young doesn’t let the pair let go easily. Finding new love in Roberts’s character, the terminally ill Victor (Campbell Scott) finds hope to recover. But the same thing doesn’t happen to Claflin’s Will. Feeling as a burden to his parents and society, Will, previously a businessman and multi-sport athlete, decides to end his life, even after he meets quirky and vigorous Clarke’s Lou.
Me Before You based on best-selling Jojo Moyes‘s writing piece introduces an active turned paralyzed Will two years after the traffic accident. He’s now a messed up quadriplegic, spending most of his routine in his castle with a nurse on regular visit. His parents, especially his mother, are very concerned, thus posts out a caretaker vacancy which jobless Lou comes to apply.
As a caretaker, Will’s mom doesn’t see her convincing yet give her a try and later the plot lingers on the relationship development between Will and Lou. Initially, a caretaker and a patient, to friends, and finally lovers. Both are given daily ups and downs which pretty works ignite the love spark. While Will at times signals an unfriendly disposition to Lou’s presence, he unconsciously appreciates her persistence. And when Will is about to break his own wall, Lou stays still with patience. First for the money and later for Will, Lou experiences a change in heart despite her being aware of Will’s death plan.
We call Claflin and Clarke as a dream team as Me Before You obviously benefits from both superior qualities but is troubled with the controversy it delivers. Speaking of moral, Will is selfish, keeping his determination and leaving his beloved ones broken hearted. There’s a scene Lou turns mad after all the efforts she’s done to cancel Will’s death plan, a scene which finally turns this flick into an unnecessary tearjerker.
The title might apply to both character development if their relationship is truly mutual. Will describes Lou as a potential but without motivation and ambition while Will’s situation is pretty much the same. Unfortunately, after Lou is aware of what she’s capable of and shows Will she can change, Will subsides himself for the sake of Lou’s future. He keeps choosing the death plan instead of spending every remaining breath with optimism.
Judging the end of their love story, we personally turn down any groups calling themselves providing support at one’s life’s end, even in terminal ill condition. Not a fictional group, Dignitas, which Will hires to assist his death, truly exists. You can find it in Switzerland and Germany, assist hopeless people who apparently have faith … in death. This irony worsens when Will represents the victims of what we call foremost, misperception, makes Me Before You lacks the philosophical meaning its title bears.
Director: Thea Sharrock
Cast: Emily Clarke, Sam Claflin, Matthew Lewis, Jenna Coleman, Charles Dance
Duration: 110 mins