'ME BEFORE YOU' - Movie review and discussion

Safe to say, there was not one dry eye in the theatre.

As usual, the movie release for Me Before You in Australia was about a month after everywhere else in the world. But the day it came out, I dragged my my mum off to the cinema. I haven't been this excited for a movie release since The Fault in our Stars two years ago. So, here goes...

* WARNING: This review includes spoilers of the book and movie. I recommend at least reading the book or watching the movie before reading this! *

Firstly, I want to talk about the actors who portrayed the characters. I have watched Emilia Clarke in the first couple of season of Game of Thrones, and so I knew she was an amazing character. However, I didn't think that she was that good! Being able to play a character like Daenerys and then Lou who is on the complete other side of the spectrum. Not only did she look exactly as I pictured Lou when reading, but her portrayal of the character was perfect. Her facial expressions, her personality, and even the way she talked was perfection. It felt like I had seen the movie before because it was exactly how I pictured the book.

And now Sam Claflin who plays Will. Claflin would have to be one of my favourite actors, and he is in so many amazing films. And of course, Me Before You is no exception. Once again, Claflin was able to portray such a difficult and arrogant character in such an amazing way. From his movements and posture in the wheelchair, his sarcasm, and his love for Lou, Claflin did such a heartwarming and spectacular job at portraying Will.

Secondly, the story line of the movie was a pretty good representation of the book. There were a few plot points and characters missing, however I think the writers did an amazing job at filling in what was important.

Ten ways the movie was different from the book;

1. In the book, Lou tells Will how she was sexually assaulted at the scene of the castle's maze when she was younger. As the reader, this helped me understand Lou's personality and how she came to be. However, this was not included in the movie's final edit as the writers weren't able to include it in a way that was respectful of the issue.

2. Mr Trainor's affair wasn't talked about about in the movie, and I'm not entirely sure he was having one at all. Close to the beginning of the movie, I got the hint that Mr and Mrs Trainor were having issues just by the way they were acting around each other. And my mum, who hasn't read the book, thought this too. In fact, the Trainor's marriage appears quite strong in the film.

3. Will's sister, Georgina, is not mentioned in the book and I think she is actually non-existent. In the book, Georgina is completely against Will's decision of assisted suicide, and she makes sure that he and everyone else is aware of that. I read that the writers decided to leave this out as she didn't add to the overall story line. I somewhat agree with this, however I think it would have been interesting for viewers to gather that other perspective of assisted suicide.

4. Lou and Patrick don't move in together in the film. In the book, Lou moves in with him when her sister returns from college and the house becomes too crowded again. This made their break up seem that it wasn't such a big deal.

5. In the book, Lou moves into the Trainor's house after she and Patrick break up. However, this is cut from the film as she goes on holiday with Will and Nathan straight after. Once again, not a crucial detail.

6. In the film, Patrick doesn't release the information about Will's plan for Switzerland. He is seen as less of a 'dick' in the movie than the film, and I kind of like this aspect as he was still a huge part of Lou's life. However, the aspect of the controversial topic of assisted suicide was not shown as much in the film due to this. I would have liked even a little bit of the press drama to be shown in the film.

7. During some chapters of the book, the chapter was told from the perspectives of other characters, such as Mr and Mrs Trainor, Nathan, and Katrina. This wasn't necassary in the movie, however I loved the emotion the book aroused when Mrs Trainor was talking about losing her son;  “I looked at Will and I saw the baby I held in my arms, dewily besotted, unable to believe that I had created another human being. I saw the toddler, reaching for my hand, the schoolboy weeping tears of fury after being bullied by some other child. I saw the vulnerabilities, the love, the history. That’s what he was asking me to extinguish — the small child as well as the man — all that love, all that history.”

8. In the book, Lou joins a chat room that talks specifically about dealing with loved ones who want to go through with assisted suicide. Although this not being in the film is not a huge miss, it goes along with the fact that Will's assisted suicide was not as huge a topic in the film than it was in the book.

9. Will and Lou don't go together to get tattoos during the film. I loved this scene in the book as it was another activity that Lou and Will together, even though it was something that Lou always wanted to do. This dove into the concept that even though Lou was hired to save Will's life, it ended up being the other way around.

10. Lou never tells Will that she loves him in the film. Although it was clear in the film that they did love each other, there was a quote from the book that I wish was in the move;
’I told him I loved him,’ she said, her voice dropping to a whisper. ‘And he just said it wasn’t enough.’ Her eyes were wide and bleak. ‘How am I supposed to live with that?’”

This movie was so amazing, and I walked out of the cinema wanting to watch it again straight away. It aroused the exact same emotions as the book did (and I think I might have cried even more). The actors did a fantastic job, the scenes and setting was great, and the writers did a spectacular job and portraying the book as best as possible. I already have plans to watch the movie twice more in the cinema over the next week (I'm taking all my friends)! I also plan on rereading the book soon (I don't have it with me at the moment because someone is borrowing it :(

I highly recommend seeing the movie if you haven't already, and reading the book if that's your kind of thing.

Let me know down below if you've seen Me Before You or read the book, and let me know your thoughts.

Gabby Xx


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