Directed by: Thea Sharrock
Starring:Emilia Clark ( Lou Clark )
Sam Claflin ( Will Traynor)
Based on:Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Rating: 2/ 5 stars
It’s an “illness” or a “disease” among us readers, if you belong to us , that we read the book first before we watch its movie adaptation. We make sure that we are familiar with all the angles of the story: the plots, the characters, the settings, and even the scenes that we are supposed to catch a glimpse of. However, there are times that we tend to be disappointed with the movie because it turns out to be the other way around. It plays down to the details that we cannot get over and give us deeper impression. This way of movie adaptation bears resemblance to Jojo Moyes’s best-selling novel Me Before You .
The main problem with the movie , along with some movies I have watched, is that they do not include the other details. In other words, some important parts of the story are highlighted since a movie should usually play within one and a half hour – a big challenge for all the productions of the movie. So what happens is that it appears to be a “quickie”. Meaning to say , just create one how much effort one could put in. Unfortunately, this shortcoming is conspicuous in the movie. I wonder if its director is aware of that movie snobs nowadays are cynical since movies are now more easily accessible in the internet.
Lately, I reviewed the book and was generously gave it 4 out of 5 stars despite that I did not find the book romantic as what the author may have intended to be. Rather, I was impressed by Jojo Moyes’s ingenious writing skills and by how she adulterated the idea on euthanasia with the main character’s realistic life dramas. Read my review here.
However, I did not find in the movie the good points I found in the book. I had expected that the movie would give importance to the deeper friendship burgeoned between Lou Clark and Will Traynor. That is why I loved this book. In addition, Lou Clark’s sense of humor which later changed Will Traynor’s somber mood is not underpinned. I missed their punch lines which somehow made me rolling in the aisles and tearfully remember Mary Lennox-and-Colin Craven scene in the Secret Garden . Somehow, Emilia Clarke was able to characterize Lou. She is able to depict Lou’s weird and funny getups and clumsiness. One more thing is the unforgettable scenes in Mauritius, especially the bed scene when both of them were watching the storm coming into existence. It is a dry scene for me. There is no excitement as what happened in the book.
Another part that I was not satisfied with is Will Traynor’s feelings that Jojo Moyes may have wanted us to be overcome with. Will in the book is sober and antipathetic. However, I could not feel it in the movie , except the fact that I was quite impressed by the actor Sam Claflin‘s knack for feigning a quadriplegic patient. Besides, Jojo Moyes’s descriptions of his physical exquisiteness leaves nothing to my imagination more than the movie does, as you know, we are living in a censored world. Furthermore, the movie did not strongly do justice to Will’s determination to put an end to his miserable life, of which I was not convinced in the book.
I would say that the book’s ending had a greater impact upon me than the movie’s . I didn’t like the scenes where Lou had to have a falling out with her parents to support Will’s doggone desire to die in Switzerland. Besides, the part where Lou reads Will’s letter at a coffee shop in Paris is not as heart-breaking as in the book. Its ambiance doesn’t give an implication of bereavement moment.
The only thing that had a quite profound impact on me is Will Traynor’s parents’ compassionate empathy for him.In the book, both of them are aloof and emotionally restrained.
I may not be a movie snob nor a film graduate, but I take an exception to a movie based on my expectation. If I find a book superb, I figure on its movie adaptation to be a whole lot better. But if the movie is awfully bad, I expect its movie to be stupendous. Hence, woe betide you. Do not take me seriously. I am just subjective.