ME BEFORE YOU (2016) Review
Directed by Thea Sharrock
Based on the best selling novel by Jojo Moyes who also wrote the screenplay of the film, Me Before You is disappointingly dry but Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin are magical and it’s enough to keep the audience glued to the screen because of their magnetic performances.
Fans of the book went crazy when the first trailer was released online, and why wouldn’t they? The author of the book wrote, the screenplay and the lovely Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin are portraying the roles they read. Film adaptations mostly disappoints the fans of the source material, and that’s understandable. There’s something sacred with the story, especially the characters they loved that they imprinted on those and feels protective of those. And that may be the predicament of the film adaptation of Me Before You.
The film is pleasantly done from start to finish, the magic of it is really its stars, the treatment of the story, not so much. It ends up being just another romantic drama film that invites those who are a sucker for tearjerker films. For a casual movie goer, it might work but it won’t be as painful as you want it or expect it to be.
The story is as simple as any other romance movies out there, an optimistic girl meets the pessimist guy, and in the process they fall in love. Clarke as Louisa Clark is really that one character that sticks on you, she just light everything up whenever her presence is on screen. And Filipinos can definitely relate to her character, the hard-working child that only wants what’s best for her family. Sam Claflin, charming as ever doesn’t disappoint to embody William Traynor. But then again, even if you have these terrific actors, how you treat their story will affect everything and that’s where the film was weak.
The story already wants you to cry, to feel the pain and to sympathize with Lou (Clarke) but how the film tackles its story only scratches the surface. You can see most of what and how they feel but you don’t get to feel it deeply enough to actually weep through their pain, through their fear of losing someone, fear of longing for the one they’ll lost. Director Thea Sharrock, whose works are mostly theater helmed Me Before You as her directorial film debut. Her vision of the film may not be as personal as the material she is working with, and that isn’t the best thing for a drama film that deals with love and loss. It’s decent but it lacks the profundity of its characters, their affection doesn’t transcend as much as it needs to for the audience to fully satisfy their need for a tearjerker drama.
3 OUT OF 5 STARS
“Me Before You” opens June 15, 2016 in Philippine cinemas from Warner Bros. Pictures. Rated PG by the MTRCB.