Me before You: The message everybody is freaking out

**Warning: contains spoilers**

Lou was hugging Will, the window was open. In the last few minutes, I hoped. Then the scene shifted to black shortly after, Will was shown on the bed with his hands folded. Right then I knew, he carried on with his plan. No one has been able to stop him.

Among many others, I was shocked how it ended. I do not consent in any way of what he did.

Yesterday morning while on the train to work, I was lazily looking at facebook and found so many negative reviews of the film: how the message was neither encouraging nor morally right. Some went to the extent that it was evil. I do not agree with all forms of murder but I do not agree with the reviews, too.


Photo source: Here

The Message it depicts

Most reviews stated that the message is not right. The movie did not give anyone something nice to learn (as if movies should always do). Here’s the thing, it might not be the greatest message or the one we want to receive but it was the reality: The reality of people suffering not only from Quadriplegia; The reality of their lives, how they face it every single day. I believe it’s happening somewhere, somehow.

The way Will did not change his mind and go on with it was disappointing but honestly, I understood why he did it. Still, doesn’t mean I agree.

Will lost his ability to do anything with his body. He can’t move from the neck down; although he can use his fingers in a very limited way. He used to be an active person—he dived, he traveled, he did bungee jump, he used to ski; did extreme activities before he got hit by a motorcycle. Just imagine the pain. Since the accident, all he ever did was sit on a wheel chair every day, watch the view from the window, see some movies and get by. Doing some activity made him ill. Even the simple not perspiring was a threat to his life.

Everyone else is so focused on euthanasia they forgot to pay attention to other details such as: Will show that people who had an accident and become special needs are always prone to depression, to not have enthusiasm to live. Although his parents were always there for him (not in the book though), he felt alone. One, because clearly for 2 years he lost most of his friends; not only they live far but they did not bother visiting him—not his ex girlfriend, not his friends nor his colleagues. His life stopped and nobody was willing to be there for him. Granted, he refused their help at first but it was not an excuse to leave him. One of the most ignored message of the movie: Never give up on people who are suffering. Lou didn’t. She was persistently there with a smile on her face. She first did it because she needed the money but eventually, they became close friends. It just shows their mood will get better and they will stop pushing people away eventually. I believe Lou just came in his life a little too late.

The movie also depicted how insensitive the society is for the people who have special needs. Parking area was muddy in the horse racing place that a wheelchair will naturally get stuck there. The book also said how rough the pavements were and every time it rocks Will’s wheelchair, he felt some pain. Our societies, our infrastructures—they’re all made for the convenience of normal people without giving thoughts to those who have special needs. Yes, there are ramps or special parking but how many times they were abused by people? Some park at PWD parking just for the ease of it; some park in front of ramps and block it because they think nobody’s using it anyway. How many parking lots are still not concrete and would be a difficult place for special needs people? How many pavements are not fixed properly because it’s such a hassle to? The fact that people with special needs are a part of the minority made us oblivious of their situation.

Lou tried helping Will. She tried showing him that he can still have fun—go to concerts, have a vacation out of town. However, maybe it was even more frustrating on his part. Going on a vacation and can’t even swim, or going to concert where everyone looks at you intently.

Will gave up on living for the longest time. He even attempted to kill himself before since all he wanted was to end the suffering. I hardly imagine how his parents took his decision. Other message of the reality is: Not everyone is as strong as Stephen Hawking. Not all with special needs can stand up and inspire the people of the world. It’s not impossible but it’s also not for everyone because not everyone can be susceptible to pain; not everyone can stand a lot of heartbreaks; not everyone is as strong as someone else.

This… this is the reality. We may not be able to grasp it because of our religion or beliefs or moral standards. Nevertheless, we haven’t been in their shoes and walked in it. We know nothing of their hardships and so, we don’t have the right to separate what we think is right or wrong. We can’t pin point what is the best for them. We are all apathetic to people with special needs—may it be physical or mental. After this movie, I realized we are not just a society who is lethargic, we also can’t empathize. It’s the saddest message that ever occurred to me.


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