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What can a person do to inspire a man to live? You can smile, be attentive, make him laugh and give good conversation, but can that be enough? Can one person make someone’s life worth living? Well, that is the question posed in Me Before You.
Characters Worth Noting
Lou Clark (Emilia Clarke) | Will Traynor (Sam Claflin) | Nathan (Stephen Peacocke) | Stephen Traynor (Charles Dance) | Camilla Traynor (Janet McTeer) | Patrick (Matthew Lewis)
Main Storyline (with Commentary)
Lou is a rather simple girl. Not simple as in stupid, but one could argue her being fine with her life in a town which revolves around a castle and working 6 years in a café is a rather bewildering thing. But at the age of 26, she finds herself pushed out of her comfort zone as she is laid off. Something quite troubling for her family since with her dad out of work, Lou’s pay was needed to keep things going.
Luckily, though, the big how to do family of the area, the Traynors, are in need of a caregiver. You see, Stephen and Camilla’s son Will is no barely able to move anything from the neck down due to an accident. One which, at first, he thought he could recover from. However, with little sign of recovery, since he injured his spine, after the first year he decided to ostracize himself. He pushed away friends, his girlfriend of the time, quit his job, and now just sits and blasts music, contemplates suicide.
This thought never settled well with Will’s parents, his mother especially. So despite being utterly unqualified to do anything a nurse would do, Camilla hires the chatty Lou Clark. A blessing for the girl’s pockets, but a burden on her mental state. For, in the beginning, she is dealing with an utter ass, one which first tries to scare her off before making it seem she is there for nothing. However, with her telling him off a friendship blooms. One which leads to eyebrow raises from Lou’s boyfriend of 7 years Patrick. Someone who seems to care for fitness more than Clarke’s desires and dreams. Yet here is Will. Incapable of doing much yet he questions why she traps herself in their small town and listens to her. Something which makes a job transition to what becomes a genuine admiration for one another and friendship. One posed to possibly end unless Lou finds someway, anyway, to convince Will life can remain worth living.
Things To Note
It is very weird to see the former Tywin Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen in the same room being friendly toward one another.
Questions Left Unanswered
Did she ever break up with Patrick? I mean, she falls for Will but there was never a clean, “I don’t think I love you” or “I don’t want to be together anymore” thing said. Patrick just got mad about Lou going on trips with Will in an effort to make him see life is worth living and, in the process, skipping their holiday without saying why exactly she was doing it.
Emilia Clarke is the type of dorky and quirky which is loveable, relatable in a way, and endearing. There isn’t anything you can really say negative about the way she plays Lou. Yes, one or two of Lou’s decisions make no sense, but that’s because what seemed like an excellent friendship weirdly, and almost forcefully, becomes a relationship. Yet, despite that, Clarke finds a way to keep you engaged and invested as we continue to question if Lou may be able to convince Will to live.
Leading to something I quite admired about this film in that as much as Will is this rich attractive guy, the film isn’t having you drown in information about Will and the life he had. Will’s lifestyle is seen in abundance through just his living situation, so it made seeing Lou’s life and family a perfect balance. We got to know her by listening to her, seeing her relationship with her parents and sister, alongside having Will asking her questions. Then, when it comes to Will, I feel like they just presented just enough. You know the man is rich, but it never feels smeared into your face and made his lifestyle so lavish, nor him such an ass when we meet him that he can’t recover.
As noted in the first highlight, while things were beautiful in the film as Will warmed up to Lou, especially after she told him off, somehow their relationship becomes romantic. Which, for me, seemed forced in a way. Be it because Lou never had a without a doubt breakup from Patrick, or just because the chemistry wasn’t there. As in, Clerke and Claflin seem more to have the chemistry of siblings on the screen than potential lovers. Add in that a part of me felt Lou was willing to fall in love with Will just to give him a reason to live, and it killed any thought that their romance was cute and something to be envious over.