‘ME BEFORE YOU’ Movie Review – Tragedy, Trauma, Love
Daenerys Targaryen has left Essos and traded in her dragons and massive army in favour of a crazy colourful wardrobe enough to make you stand out in a crowd of millions. And she didn’t come alone, Tywin Lannister has come back from the dead and this time decided to assume the mantle of good father for the first time in his life. Oh and Neville Longbottom found a girlfriend……. who da thunk it. ‘Me Before You’ is a Romantic Drama based on a novel that follows the relationship between a young banker who was recently paralysed and his new caretaker played by Emilia Clarke. This movie has a lot of heart, a lot of emotion (highs and lows), fantastic performances, and touched on a range of various themes throughout that offers some brief depth to the subject matter but more focus on one aspect would have benefited the film immensely. The film also does a very good job at intertwining a good amount of humour to contrast with the more sad or depressing scenes, offering plenty of moments of enjoyment.
This film marks Emilia Clarke’s second major role since her rise to fame in ‘Game of Thrones’, the other being 2015’s ‘Terminator Genisys’ and well, we all know how that went. The toughest thing for Emilia at this point in her career is finding a way to separate herself from this character that she is so closely associated with and find roles where she can show her acting range. And she most definitely does this here, this is a role where she is able to show a lot more character and let her bouncing enthusiasm run wild, and at the same time also get a lot of that emotional depth she isn’t capable of showing with Daenerys. She is the standout in this movie and is most definitely the life of the film, especially in the first half she brings so much positivity that you really are having a lot of fun watching her have fun. Sam Claflin also comes to play and gives a solid performance considering he was confined to a wheelchair the entire film and had to show all emotion and have his lines be impactful utilising almost no movement.
Because of these two fantastic lead performances Matthew Lewis’ performance will probably be very overlooked as his character was mainly present for some character conflict in the film, but he also had some good scenes. Charles Dance had a good scene or two but for the most part his role was limited to leaving and entering scenes whenever something more important was happening. But yeah, a really good supporting cast here.
This film emits a lot of emotion both positive/uplifting and also some sadder tear jerking moments. They balance the various tones very well throughout the film so that there is never really an overly depressing portion of the film and you don’t feel that this is aiming to be a comedy. And they throw a lot of sad moments your way, some hit harder than others but pretty much all were effective. There are elements here and there that may seem slightly familiar from other similar romantic dramas dealing with trauma which is unavoidable but they weren’t at all detrimental to my enjoyment. Now where i think this film could have killed the audience with sadness in an effective way is if it really delved into the trauma behind Claflin’s spinal injury and the decisions he has to face. The film talks about it a lot but never really shows any of it or goes into any real depth. Similar to how last years ‘The Theory of Everything’ went deeper into the inner emotional conflict of Eddie Redmayne’s character, this could have added another layer to the film which would have worked well.
So in the end this was a very good and also a very enjoyable romantic drama that is complimented by two fantastic lead performances including a role from Emilia Clarke that successfully separates her from her Game of Thrones character. A lot of emotion and tough sad moments are present but are well balanced with positive tones mostly made possible by Emilia Clarke’s bouncing personality. A good watch if you are a fan of the genre or the actress.