Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Sea Inside

I chose to watch The Sea Inside. There are so many aspects of this movie that I could pull from to have a long and intense response to, but instead of the glaringly obvious issues - such as sexuality and the right to end one's life - I am drawn to the relationships portrayed.

First off, I have to give credit where credit is due: the actors in this film are pretty amazing, as the director must have been for guiding them on their portrayal of the characters. And I don't mean that in the somewhat normal way that the leading actors were strong and pulled the movie through with good supporting actors... no, in this film, the "supporting" actors played such an enormous role, thus why I want to pull from them for my response.

Ramón, the main "character" (this is based on a true story, so I feel kind of weird calling any of these people characters) was paralyzed from the neck down in his 20s. He depends on his family for all of his care. Ramón, however, wishes to end his life, and therein begins the movie as euthanasia is against the law and there is no way for him to commit suicide on his own. Obviously, there is so much more to this story, but that's enough of a summary to get through this blog post.

I think what truly pulled me into this story was not the legal fight, nor the actual "meat" of the argument of euthanasia, but how the reactions to this were shown. The relationships that Ramón had with his family members is what was most raw and real to me and left me questioning what I would do if one of my family members was in the same situation... How would I feel and react to such a situation? Thus, my subjective feelings about this movie are totally divided.

Ramón's brother is adamantly opposed to euthanasia and shows it with remarkable realness. His anger, sense of betrayal, and near violent tendencies all show an immense amount of love that made me want his "side" to "win". The back-and-forth pull of Ramón's nephew was hard to watch because he seemed to be the person stuck in the middle - being a "helper" for Ramón as children often enjoy but sometimes resent at the same time and loving his uncle, yet also being pulled by his father who cannot even entertain the notion of something so selfish as euthanasia, but also being pulled in a third direction by his mother who is Ramón's main caretaker. The entire family situation is so intricate and messy that it comes across not as being acted, but as being real. The love, in all respects, is real; the fights are real; the torn emotions are real.

But, for me, the strongest and most severe emotional pull came from Ramón's father, who was generally silent throughout the entire film. This is where my really disturbing questions stemmed from. Any parent wants what is best for their child, but what is best for his child? (Spoiler alert) He must go through not only his child's decision to end his life, but his active fight to end his life, and then actually live through his child's videotaped suicide. Regardless of the father's views on euthanasia, just how can a parent live through something like that? His silence throughout the movie, yet his reactions to the decisions being made, are so difficult to watch and experience.

So that is my two-cents on this movie. As I said in the beginning, there is so much more in this movie that can be dissected, but this is what struck me most.

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