9.25.2006

the sea inside

i watched "the sea inside" last night. unfortunately i missed the begining, but in the last hour and a half i was both moved and disappointed. the film is about a man who becomes a quadrapilegic and is fighting for the right to end his own life. actually, he's fighting for his friends to be able to help him since he's quite unable, physically, to perform the task himself.

the film was moving. the dialogue was engrossing, the cinematography gripping and creative and the story kept me riveted despite the desire to check on the render progress of the video project that kept me from the begining of the film. the film had a soft look to it that was very pleasing and was, overall, very enjoyable.

the frustration came with the main character, ramon. (i wondered at one point if it was based on a true story because the main character's name sounded familiar and i wondered if i'd heard it in some news broadcast years ago.) on one hand his argument seems totally reasonable - the idea that a life confined to a bed is not really a life and that one should have the freedom to end one's own life if it is causing more pain than joy. the longer i watched and the more i learned of ramon, the more i saw him as a man who was imprisoned not by a bed but by his own unwillingness to move past whatever tragedy had stuck him there. his attitude toward the other characters in the story was generally self-centered and narcissistic. he was not interested in enjoying life, only in finding a way to end it. thus he spent 28 years fighting the law, confined to a bed, and obsessed with the idea of his own death.

at one point, a woman named rosa who had fallen in love with him was pleading with him to drop the idea of euthanasia because she claimed that he gave her the strength to live. his response? "don't put that kind of responsibility on me!" what a jackass!! that's what happens in life: responsibilities are placed on us. we can definitely choose whether to accept or reject, but to reject, especially a "responsibility" like that, can only result in a life that is more or less devoid of meaning and meaningful relationship. no wonder he wanted to die.

i won't tell you how it ends, but it's definitely worth a watch. i don't know if the director was trying to make a statement about euthanasia or not, but if he/she was it was not a bold one. the message was shrouded in story (shich i prefer to loud and clear) and could make a case either way.

check it out.

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