Film Review: Me Before You

Undoubtedly the movie event of the year I’ve been most excited for, “Me Before You” is a romantic drama that will move you to tears – actually no, not tears… it will move you to an uncontrollable sob – and makes you feel so deeply you know it will be one of those stories that stays with you forever.

Me Before You

Me Before You is the beautiful and heart bursting love story of big city adventure man Will Trainer who has a tragic accident which leaves him as a quadriplegic and a small town girl named Louisa who becomes Will’s caregiver.

I’m telling you right now, if you haven’t read the book do so now. Even if you’re not normally a reader, please try this book. This story is so much more than a love story; it actually made me think about life and how I’ve been living it. This story reveals that it is your duty to live your life to the fullest and to live boldly and well, and to really just, live. So go buy the book if you haven’t read it because it will change your life. You. Are. Welcome. 🙂

Now, the film, which is based on the book by Jojo Moyes, stars Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin and is directed by Thea Sharrock. Like many others I fell in love with this story through the book, which made me laugh and cry harder than anything else I’ve ever experienced. Seriously, I cry a lot (ask anyone who has ever known me) and I can confidently say I’ve never cried as hard as I have when I read this book… and it’s not just because of it’s sad subject matter, but the journey the two main characters go on is absolutely beautiful and moving and like nothing else I’ve read. From reading the book alone I knew the movie would be amazing and then I found out that Emilia Clarke (the mother of dragons herself) and Sam Claflin (Finnick Odair from The Hunger Games) were taking on the roles of Louisa Clark and Will Traynor. Aside from the fact that those two characters couldn’t have possibly been cast any better, the screenplay was also written by the author herself. I mean with those facts, how could this film be anything less than extraordinary?!

If you haven’t already seen the movie or the trailer watch it now.

 

So now for the breakdown:

Writing/Screenplay: beautiful, honest, and very faithful to the book. I’m so so happy Jojo Moyes did the screenplay. This book has very delicate subject matter and I’m not sure anyone else could have portrayed the message of the story as well. I think the essence of the book couldn’t have come across more perfectly. That being said, because I love this story so much, I would totally have been okay if the movie was 5 hours long if it meant keeping every detail of the book but if 1 hour and 51 minutes is all I’m allowed for this story then I think it was done perfectly.

Acting: … umm… bloody perfect. I can’t even begin to discuss the absolute brilliancy of the acting and the casting choices. I mean whoa. Emilia Clarke IS Louisa Clark. No one else could have done that role. Many people know her as Daenerys Targaryen/Khaleesi/Mother of Dragons from Game of Thrones, and while this role is completely different, oh my gosh does she ever nail it. She simply shines as positive, colourful, quirky, and often clumsy Lou.

Now, for Sam Claflin. Anyone who has a conversation with me about film will know I love him. He’s such a good actor, so honest and truly there in every story he does. His commitment to the role of Will Traynor is amazing. Not only does he nail Will’s sarcasm and wit and charming presence, but Claflin also nailed the physicality of the role and overall he’s just absolutely brilliant. I really can’t say enough good things about him! It doesn’t hurt either that he looks flawless in a suit and has the face of a God with dimples you could get lost in… did I just go too far?! I don’t even care.

*As a side note, you should also check out the movie “Love Rosie” with him… it’s one of my favourites (definitely in the top 5) and he’s brilliant.*

Directing: This film was the directorial debut for Thea Sharrock, and what a perfect debut project! I love that a female director did this story; you can definitely tell through the sensitivity and delicacy in which the film was shot and edited. Sharrock directing style is really unique, I haven’t seen anything like it, and I’m not sure what exactly it is just yet but there’s something in the style of the film that references a classic love story movie experience. Whether that was achieved through the acting, writing, cinematography, editing, or soundtrack, or the combination of it all, Sharrock was the one who brought it all together and her vision of this story came across really beautifully.

Set Design/Production: I loveeeedddd the set design and production of this film. I mean maybe I’m a little biased because I love England, but I found the sets gorgeous. How can you go wrong when a lot of the film is based around a castle?! Every scene and every set was exactly how I pictured it while reading, like exactly. It was perfect!

Soundtrack: O.M.G. Okay let me just start with the theme song of the film, which is “Not Today” by Imagine Dragons. I’m obsessed with this song, it’s so beautiful and can make me cry on cue. So aside from that, this film also contained Ed Sheeran’s song “Photograph” … I’m a photographer… HELLOOO! Like of course I’m going to love whatever Ed does, but Photograph?! It’s like whoever did the soundtrack was like, “Alex loves this story, lets make it for her… and we know music is a big thing for her when it comes to films so let’s not just get Ed, but lets get his song that he secretly wrote for her!” I bet that conversation really happened. Anyways, the rest of the soundtrack is awesome too. It just totally immerses you in the story and follows the emotions perfectly!

Cinematography/Editing: Loved Loved Loved. There was a classic feel to the way this film was shot and edited and there was also an emphasis on the surrounding landscapes, so you know right from reading that, that it wasn’t hard for me to love. The filming perfectly captured the small town feel and the beauty of the English countryside as well as the closeness between the characters. The film also seemed to be shot in a  way that created this lightness, like the way a typical romcom is usually filmed, however due to the dramatic subject matter of the story it created this really interesting atmosphere. It’s almost like the cinematography served as a relief between the simple outside world and the complexity of Will and Louisa’s relationship and the severity of Will’s situation. And the editing also seemed to match the tone of the scenes. It was kept simple for the scenes that involved a lot of humour, with a lot of back and forth shots between the characters to keep up with the witty remarks, and emphasized the more dramatic and romantic scenes with longer panning shots that drew the audience in. LOVED!

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Storyline: now normally I don’t include this subheading in my reviews, however I’ve read that this story is getting some bad reviews and harsh judgment based on the subject matter, so let me just say that for me, this story did not send the message that a disabled life is a less valuable one. For me this beautiful and heart wrenching film was about living life to the fullest and the power and importance of choice in ones life. Everyone should be able to make their own choices without fear of judgment.

This film has potential to be a classic so go see it and in the meantime I’m going to go try to recover from the emotional breakdowns this film has caused me.

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*Most accurate reaction to this film*

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Happy Sunday 🙂
 

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