The romantic film, “Me Before You,” based on the best-selling novel by Jojo Moyes, has been the target of much criticism with regard to its overall message of the hardships of the disabled.
Released June 3, this “Beauty and the Beast” fantasy without the happy ending sends viewers through a convoluted journey of emotions as they follow the story of Louisa Clark and Will Traynor, played by Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin, respectively.
In a quaint English town, Louisa, a young woman from a middle class family, accepts the job of caretaker to suicidal and disabled aristocrat Will. As a result of a motorcycle accident two years prior, Will is paralyzed and has a bitter view of life as a quadriplegic.
Emilia Clarke, portraying Louisa, adds the necessary emotion and depth to this movie. Clarke’s sincere disposition warms the heart of viewers, providing a stark contrast to Will. Claflin’s illustrative facial expressions perfectly portray the inner conflicts Will struggles with when he reminisces about his previously ambulant life. Louisa’s bold and colorful style first annoys Will, but the ice breaks when the duo watches the French film, “Of Gods and Men.” The dramatic tension experienced in the award-winning novel is beautifully carried out in the movie due to Moyes who also wrote the screenplay.. As a result, she was able to visually portray the connections between characters in her novel to take viewers a step further than their imagination could reading the novel..
The movie spurred some viewers to boycott the film for its consideration of suicide as a plausible alternative to life as a quadriplegic.
Furthermore, some viewers are up in arms about the reasons behind Will’s contemplation of suicide, which would make his death appear as a selfless and loving act to end his inconvenience to his family. However, the film supports the theme that love is possible despite a person’s physical state.
Overall, the movie was well executed with the right amount of suspense to keep the viewer intrigued but not too much to where the viewer is annoyed. Because of the ending, Moyes leaves the audience shocked but with a sense of understanding of the protagonist’s decision. The film entertains the audience as the tortuous love story seems to pull and push viewers’ hearts as Will decides whether or not to commit suicide.