I usually like to watch movies of horror and thriller genre. This movie was the first of the kind and it was just a random watch. I had no idea of the plot and ratings. The best part is, it turned out to be one of the best movies I’ve seen lately.
Here’s a short review of the movie.
The movie starts with glimpse of the happy married life of Kate (Hilary Swank) and Evan (Josh Duhamel). Kate is a professional pianist who plays on concerts. It’s on her birthday that she discovers that she is suffering from ALS when she is unable to grasp a glass properly and plays the wrong notes on the piano. Then the movie fast forwards one and a half-year later, when her disease has progressed so much that she demands around-the-clock care. Evan, being a good husband, is trying to provide that in every way possible for him. After firing her last nurse because she made her ‘feel like a patient’. She is interviewing Bec (Emmy Rossum) for the job, who’s late for her interview and shows up hung over and smoking at their doorstep. Kate hires her despite Evan’s detestation for her. She takes a bad start including making mocking comments on Kate’s impending death, unable to work with cutting board and blender, and dropping Kate helpless in the washroom.
As the movie progresses, it shows how Kate’s worsening condition brings her marriage to rocky grounds,she starts losing her friends and how she forms a bond with Bec. Bec helps Kate let loose and give voice to her underlying frustration and Kate teaching Bec some degree of self-respect and responsibility.
Both the ladies have done fine acting. Hilary swank has done justice to her role really well. Though she has some moderately clichéd scenes of cinematic suffering, it’s her look of resignation as she struggles to turn the pages of a magazine, or her quiet discomfort as strangers attempt to shake hands, that really convey the brutality of the disease. The movie has some powerfully emotional individual scenes that make tears well up in the eyes.
For me, this movie defines the fine line between sympathy and empathy that most of us fail to recognize. It conveys the strains of the terminal illness on the sufferer’s spouse. On the other hand, how pity & sympathy takes over the love and warmth of a relationship. There’s more to it, than to just take care of the sufferer as a patient. No one likes to be invisible or become an imposed responsibility.
Some of my favorite lines from the movie are as quoted:
– “He turns me over in my sleep. He feeds me. He bathes me. He does everything but breathe for me. Believe me he’d do that if he could.”
– “Why is it that… we want the ones that don’t see us.. instead of the ones that do?”
– “That’s the thing about giving up. You don’t realize you’ve done it until it’s too late.”
– “It’s not about her. It never was. It’s about being invisible.”
– “You’re not you. You’re me.”