As someone with a disability I was not offended by the movie Me Before You. There has been a wave of negatives reviews and propaganda surrounding its release. Many of those with disabilities are outraged but I am not—at all. It, in fact, captured a lot of feeling I have had during my journey. Suicidal actions and suicidal thoughts are huge in our population, and I thought it did a great job of bringing that to the public’s attention. It is not uncommon for people to want to be relieved of the pain and depression that accompanies so many illness and disabilities especially when you have a variety of conditions (co-morbidity is high for chronic illnesses). Many of the people I know who struggle (as well as myself) have thought about during their journeys. This movie brings up a very real and very important issue.
Some people with disabilities perceive this movie is promoting the idea that those with
disabilities cannot live full lives and would be better off dead. But NO ONE other than Will wanted him to die. Society wasn’t telling him he was better off dead, his family fought to keep him alive, Louisa grew in her respect for disabilities and surely didn’t want him to die. Will is the only one who wanted him to die. That was his personal choice.
But to be fair I believe in assisted suicide and have found people who fight cancer till the end and people who decided to end their life on their terms both have courage. Was Will courageous? Not really, but he was never really that great of a guy so why he change when he is debilitated? The movie debates the idea of assisted suicide but in the end the writers understand that it is a choice to be made by the suffered.
My biggest critic is that the movie doesn’t even delve into three fourths of what Will would have gone through both emotionally and physically. While the movie hints as the various problems and therapy, it was only a slight sliver of what those who are paralyzed go through. These treatments weren’t the point of the story and the movie has to cut somewhere. It does glamourize his lie somewhat (especially by having the gorgeous Sam Claflin as will), but I can forgive them this.
See this movie; watch with an open heart. Beware that you know people who are going through similar situations and that you might see their plight in a new light. I also encourage you to check out Rory O’Shea was Here for another look into life with a disability. It’s a tear jerker but it will help those who don’t know what it’s like to understand.