Director: Thea Sharrok.
Cast: Emilia Clarke / Sam Clafin / Brendan Coyle / Jenna Coleman / Matthew Lewis / Charles Dance
Content Rating: PG 13 for thematic elements and some suggestive material.
Source: Borrowed from a friend.
A girl in a small town forms an unlikely bond with a recently-paralyzed man she's taking care of.
Please Note: This review contains spoilers of the story.
I haven't read the book yet, but when my friend offered to bring the film with her when she came to visit, I couldn't say no. And, in all honesty, I usually end up doing things in the "wrong" order and watching the movie before the book ;)
The cinematography was excellent, the soundtrack was brilliant and atmospheric, and visually it was gorgeous; colourful, radiant, and with deep, saturated effects. The pacing was perfect, and the story added a twist on the usual "chick-flick" romantic comedy/drama.
The supporting cast was strong and decent, with the likes of Harry Potter's Matthew Lewis, Doctor Who's Jenna Coleman, and Downton Abbey's Brendan Coyle.
There was beautiful chemistry between Emilia Clarke and Sam Clafin, but Clarke was the real star of the show. She threw herself so deeply into the character and it was a pure delight to watch her stroll around in her ridiculous outfits, and as she declared her most passionate feelings; because, of course, her character never held anything back. She was adorable, quirky, and hilarious, and her character was utterly lovable.
Clarke did, unfortunately, overact a few times, but I suppose she could get away with it because her character was so exaggerated anyway - even if the times she did overact were very obvious.
My main criticism with the film is how it ended. I haven't read the book, so I don't know how it handled the ending/resolution, but I honestly thought the whole theme of the story as portrayed by the film was messed up. It was saying "live boldly, life is for living", but Will's very death made everything fall flat. The film was basically telling disabled people: 'don't bother living', 'nothing will ever get better', and 'end it now'. Rough, I know, but that's what came through. And it was not okay.
The theme was saying that disabled people might as well kill themselves because life isn't worth living if you can't do the things you used to be able to do when you had the full potential of your body. Not to mention that the 'living boldly, life is for living' message basically came across to mean that having a lot of money would give you that 'living boldly' life; that you could only really live life and enjoy it if you had a lot of money. (That was clear at the end when Clarke is seen in Paris, enjoying herself using the money Will gave her.)
I don't agree with that message. You should push yourself - live life boldly, take chances - regardless of how much money you have. In fact, the lack of money should actually push you further to achieve your dreams.
Based on those two messages, I think the whole theme was very messed up.
Me Before You was vibrant and funny thanks to Emilia Clarke, but ultimately it was as selfish as it sounds.