Suicide and euthanasia are portrayed as happy and life affirming in much of our culture today. Just last year, there was that movie “Me Before You” which celebrated a man’s decision to die as an act of love for his girlfriend because he wanted to free her of the burden of his life or something. And he leaves her his money too. And that’s supposed to make his death seem all ok because…money! And freedom! And no suffering!
Well, I didn’t see that movie. But I might see a new movie coming out directed by Andy Serkis of Gollum/Sméagol fame from Lord of the Rings. (Side note: for about a year and a half my son talked like Gollum about 70 percent of the time. Yeah, it was disturbing but he’s over it now. Mostly.) This movie would seem to be the antidote for “Me before You.”
Lord of the Rings star Andy Serkis on Tuesday said his directorial debut, Breathe, is an inspiring tale of struggling against adversity, not a dark take on disaster.
“We were elevating not just a story of survival, but creating a metaphor for our times, about the power of love,” Serkis said of his drama about British advocate for the disabled Robin Cavendish. The film, starring Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy, follows Cavendish after he was paralyzed with polio at the age of 28 and given just three months to live.
Against all advice, his wife Diane brought him home from the hospital and inspired him to lead a long and fulfilled life. Serkis said Diane Cavendish’s staying with her husband when she had the option to leave was an act of love that lay at the foundation of Breathe.
“Nowadays it’s so easy to walk away. We live in a massive throwaway world. We are so alienated from one another now,” he told reporters at the TIFF press conference. “That’s why I found the power of this film so strong. It’s a reminder of what true love actually is,” Serkis added.
This is a story about love overcoming the worst adversities. And through that love, the world became better. A refreshing take.