I was very excited to see this film as I’d read the novel by JoJo Moyes about 2 years ago and absolutely loved it, even though it broke my heart. It’s the story of a young woman called Louisa Clark who becomes a companion for Will Traynor, a man who became quadriplegic after a motorbike accident.
I loved the film, partly because it has stayed close to the book (JoJo Moyes also wrote the screenplay) and because the casting is spot on. Emilia Clarke is perfect as clumsy Louisa, Sam Claflin is cold and distant initially as Will but warms gradually as the film goes on, and the chemistry between them is fantastic. They are supported by great actors including Charles Dance and Janet McTeer. Although it is overall a sad film, there are also plenty of funny and heartwarming moments throughout.
There may be possible spoilers in the next paragraph.
There have been some protests about the film by disability campaigners, but for me I felt it was the story of one man’s choice to end his life. In no way does the film or book suggest for one second that all disabled people are better off dead, which from what I understand is what a lot of the protests have been about. It also isn’t a decision that is taken lightly by the character, and it is his own decision – he isn’t forced, persuaded or coerced by anyone else. I recognise that the debate about the right to die is highly emotive and complicated, and I understand that people may be upset about the content of the film, but it is one character’s story, not a rule book.