Me Before You (2016) Review

Me_Before_You_(film)

When she loses her job at the village diner, a young woman falls into the job as caretaker to a paraplegic man living at his parents’ home. While the two collide at first, they come to realize that they both have something to change in one another forever.

In this latest tear-jerker, we gain a different perspective in terms of storytelling and characters. The story at hand very much has a hard-hitting theme to it that may be too much and intense for some to stomach. But while it doesn’t devote as much time to this concept as it should, it sheds some light on it to make it constantly present. One thing I loved most about this film is how much it really took the time to develop our characters and their relationship before the romance sets in, which is basically almost the whole film. The relationship the characters develop is charming and lovable and it certainly helps that our two leads have excellent chemistry and really make the characters sincere and real. These aren’t glossy and gorgeous characters that you find in Nicholas Sparks films, sure they’re attractive, but they’re not gorgeous, they have flaws, and these characters look passed them and see the other for who they really are. It’s very rare when a romance film devotes more time to develop the relationship before they actually become a couple. It makes us root for them more, and it makes it seem more authentic in the fact that they fall in love instantly when they barely know each other. It also doesn’t fall in the cracks of cheesy romantic gestures but more so in gestures that one could do any day for someone. There’s a lot to praise in the film in how much it actually differs from other romantic films. However, as I said above, even though it sheds some light on the subject matter, it doesn’t focus on it as much as it should. Granted, it’s not the point of the film, it still feels slightly overshadowed. The real point of the film is about taking risks, chances, and living. And it does a tremendous job of expressing this through the characters actions and not through the dialogue to where it’s bashing us in the head with it.

Emilia Clarke from Game of Thrones brings in a performance that we haven’t seen from her before. With Game of Thrones and Terminator: Genysis, Clarke shows that she can definitely tackle the role of a strong, brave, and bad-ass female, as well as being able to convey strong emotions. With this film it shows she has a great amount of charm, charisma, and nice comedic-timing. Her emotional range is present here too and as per usual she nails it. But with her other abilities in this role it shows that she truly is a talented young actress who will bring great things after Game of Thrones ends. She plays the lead character Louisa with great realism, and never phoning in the performance. Having become so accustomed to her in GOT, I was beyond satisfied that I could separate her from that character and this one. While there were moments where I felt the facial expressions were overdone, but it didn’t make her or the character less likable. Sam Claflin is most known from The Hunger Games, but here we see him as someone completely different. He’s not the charming leading man we’d expect, but we see him with all of his flaws (the paralysis aside), along with his inner pain. Claflin also has good comedic timing as shows a character full of wit and sarcasm, but we also get some of the slightest traces of a tortured soul through some of his facial expressions. I admit prior to this I wasn’t a fan of Claflin, and while I’m still not entirely fan, I can say that the guy can act.

While Me Before You does have some of the aspects of typical romance and doesn’t dig as deep into its issues as it should, it differentiates so much from how it’s developed in its story and the characters in a romance. And it also helps that our two leads a very lovable and engaging from beginning to end.

4/5

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