Me Before You
Classic Elsternwick - Saturday 18 June 2016, 12:20pm
Running time: 110m
Country: United Kingdom
Classification: PG (Mild themes, sexual references and coarse language)
Release date: 16/06/16
Rating: 7/10 (ME 3/5, DP 4/5)
Louisa (Emilia Clarke) has lost her job at a cake shop and is desperate for work to help out her her parents (Brendan Coyle and Samantha Spiro). She responds to an advertisement placed by wealthy locals Camilla and Steven (Janet McTeer and Charles Dance) to care for their son Will (Sam Claflin) who has been left a quadriplegic following an accident. Will is still grieving for the life he used to have and Louisa does her best to try and lift his spirits. But a letter from Switzerland is about to derail the best laid plans.
Me Before You is a sensitive drama exploring the blossoming of unlikely relationship amidst complex health issues. Mix in a bit of romantic comedy and it becomes a layered film which presents an interesting moral dilemma about persistence, strength and dignity. The acting isn't a huge strength of this film but it has plenty of heart and soul as it tells an interesting story. It's a little too long but if you get bored you can spend a bit of time focusing on Emilia Clarke's eyebrows dance around her forehead like a couple of caterpillars on ecstasy at a rave. Matthew Lewis (Harry Potter's Neville Longbottom) has grown up and provides some comic relief as Louisa's self-absorbed triathlete boyfriend. There are a few predictable conventions here (Louisa wants to find out more about caring for a man with quadriplegia so cue the library montage) but it doesn't distract too much from the warmth of the story.
Me Before You has attracted some criticism over its depiction of quadriplegia. There's some confronting material here and, like any film, we transfer a bit of ourselves into how we experience it. However there is a lot of sensitivity and respect in a film that is charming and sad but ultimately hopefully. (ME)
See also: Last Cab to Darwin, The Farewell Party