Readers’ Blog

Me Before You

Popularity 4Viewed 4126 times 2017-2-16 17:17 |Personal category:Movie|System category:Life| movie, review


When nearly everybody on my virtual circle of friends was talking about this movie, I anticipated that it would be on in the mainland of China. But it didn't. Still, I got to see it the other day online.


The storyline is simple and even a bit cliche in my very personal opinion. It reminded me of the French hit movie "Intouchables". But other than that, I love every bit of the movie: the music, the scene, the leading actor and actress. I particularly love the topic they are trying to explore and express.


It was a tear-jerking movie in my private category.


Out of a pure coincidence, Lou became Will's caretaker who became paralyzed due to an accident. Will had the most splendid and fantastic life that one could imagine before that. He employed every possible means to try to return to his previous life after the tragic event but failed. Being wheel-bounded, he became depressed and decided to have euthanasia. Lou, a chatty and brisk girl couldn't accept that and determined to  save him from that seemingly lunatic idea. Yet, it didn't work.


I like Louisa who seems to wear that sort of smile that is really healing. She is loving, caring and affectionate. I couldn't stop beaming every time I saw her smile in the movie.


After watching the movie, I was thinking that no matter what Will chose to live or to die, it would be an admirable as well as respectable choice which required great power and courage to make.  Because living needs as much courage just as dying to him. Not being able to live the life he desired must be unbearable. Still, choosing to leave everyone he loved behind must be exceedingly difficult.


Many people may find it hard to understand why he would rather die when he could still be around his family for some time, to talk and laugh with them and to feel their love. Some may even go further to claim him a selfish guy who set himself free by choosing mercy killing while his family was left to suffer from this horrifying choice. Why can't Will think about his family and Lou? Why can't Will fight harder? Why can't Will think about those who suffer even more than he does?


But there is a limit to the pain and sadness everyone can bear. That others are able to put up with a lot doesn't mean I can as well and doesn't mean I have to do it as well. Everybody is unique. We can't judge this person's choice on the basis of other people's experience. This is totally wrong.


I don't consider this a selfish choice as I believe Will must have found life so miserable and depressing and he must have pondered over this decision for a very long time. If his existence were simply to please his family and to keep them company, what would be the meaning of living? He must somehow feel that he wanted to set his parents free as well to live their life instead of hovering over him and being concerned about his health all the time.


I admire Will's parents support. It is almost beyond possible for a parent to make that decision. In conventional note, a parent like that might be accused of murdering. They must have overcome an awfully lot to finally come to terms with Will's decision.


Watching this movie reminded me of grandmother's death. My grandmother suffered from serious depression before committing suicide. None of us in the family noticed this until one or two months before her death. Even though it was discovered by the doctor, her other accompanying diseases were treated first and no special treatment plan was designed to deal with her depression. This was mainly because mental illness was despised in the countryside as the contagious flu. After her death, many of my family members and neighbors in the village were perplexed and found it difficult to understand her choice. Because in most of their opinions, my grandma already could have a much better life compared with the majority of her peers in the village. Then I couldn't understand why she could leave all of us behind. I innocently thought there wasn't really much that she should worry about in her life.


But later I learned that severe depression was like a ghost haunting those people suffering until they felt living was too much and had to choose to end their life so as to break away from the monster. I eventually understood my grandma's choice. But meanwhile I wished that intervention could been done earlier.


Death is always a heavy topic be it a voluntary or involuntary one. People say that it is death that infuses living with meaning. But I believe it is being able to live a life we want that makes living meaningful.


"To still live with possibilities is a luxury."

"Don't settle. Just live."


All of us don't get to choose how and when we are born into this world; the great majority of us don't get to choose how and when we leave this world; but we should all be given more right to choose how we live our time between these two moments.


(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




Shake hands

Like 0 Share


Comment Comment (18 comments)

Reply Report voice_cd 2017-2-17 08:38
thanks for sharing your story here, we would like to highlight it on the homepage.
Reply Report HailChina! 2017-2-17 12:20
I have not seen the movie but I remember when it came out a lot of disabled people were offended by it because they thought that the movie was saying that disabled people are better off dead than living as disabled people - especially disableds with spinal injuries (quadriplegic/paraplegic). A lot of disabled people protested this film and called for boycotts.

I was glad to hear the plot because modern liberal thinking has encouraged western and now global society to celebrate disability which to me is a very bad thing for society and the disabled themselves. Things like the 'Special Olympics' celebrate disability. I hate the Special Olympics because in my opinion they are ridiculous because there is nothing equal about any of it. We should never celebrate disability. And the public is not interested at all in the stupid Special Olympics. I hate disabled people that participate in the Special Olympics. If we are going to fix things for disabled people we need to acknowledge that disability is a terrible thing and not something to celebrate. We should not lie to ourselves and to disabled people by pretending that disableds can have a quality of life that is comparable to a person that is free of disability.

Modern western society celebrates victimhood and it encourages disabled people to see themselves as victims. To the west a victim is a hero. Look at how the west celebrates victims of terror for example. Victims of terror are not heroes - they are victims. It all comes from Jews and the Holocaust. The celebration of victimhood is a type of Jewification of western and global society. It is not a good thing.

This opposition to euthenasia also comes from Jews and the the Christian religion which comes from Judaism. Jews themselves are more likely to support abortion and euthenasia than Christians but the fact is that Christianity has come from Jews.

The funny thing about the movie is that the good looking disabled guy that had a wonderful life before his disability still has a better life than most people as a disabled. How many people can get a gf like the hot chick from GOT? Few. Plus he has wealth. Compared to this disabled guy most people should kill themselves not just disabled people. Most people are satisfied with a lot less than this guy had when he killed himself. So to me the movie is not just making fun of the disabled but also making fun of the majority of global citizen that live horrid lives with no surplus and no hot gf. To me this movie is demented capitalists laughing at us all. They would all cut their own throats if they ever ended up having to live like we do.
Reply Report HailChina! 2017-2-17 12:24
Look at Patricians. They would all cut their own throats before living like us. And most of them still would. The movie is just capitalists making fun of us all. Laughing at us.
Reply Report HailChina! 2017-2-17 12:32
Imagine what being disabled is like for poor people living under capitalist governments that give them little support. I was shopping a few years ago and saw a sign for a charity that was raising money for children wheelchairs. I don't think I have ever been more furious in my life when I thought about it. Australia is a wealthy nation and no child should be having to get a wheelchair from a charity here. And the Australian NDIS scheme is just a corporate welfare scam to help insurance companies profit from the disabled and to have taxpayers pay for their profit margins that they decide on. Capitalists could not give a damn about disabled people if they are poor. Imagine being a poor disabled person under one of these capitalist governments that are fanatical in their opposition to welfare.

Only last week the Australian conservative government tried to pass an omnibus bill that aimed to cut welfare with the savings going to fund the NDIS disability insurance scheme. The threat was that if the senate did not agree to cuts to welfare then the NDIS would not he funded. Disabled people are just pawns to capitalist conservatives to be used to attack other poor people that need welfare. Capitalists truly are monsters. They are not even human. They are obsessed with attacking the poor. And they think that its cool. They thought they could tell Australians that the only way to look after disabled people was to cut welfare for low socioeconomic Australians and everyone would not be disgusted. They thought that we would not he disgusted. These capitalists are no longer human. It is like American Stein complaining that Americans on welfare are eating "good food". He actually said that. Apparently he wants Americans on welfare to have to eat buckets of fishheads or something. Capitalists are no longer human. Maybe they never were.
Reply Report alyssadeng 2017-2-17 18:49
The novel version tells you more.
Reply Report shehemego 2017-2-19 21:36
HailChina!: Imagine what being disabled is like for poor people living under capitalist governments that give them little support. I was shopping a few years ago  ...
I have never watch any event in the Paraolympics. But I do have been moved by the encouraging spirts of some disableds fight for life. When I compare myself with the ones impaired of some parts of their bodies, I feel sad at myself because I think I am perverted and I am fighting for nothing. But to the fact, all the disabled must lead a terrible life after being in the state of disability. But I think we should hold positive attitudes, especialy the disabled. We are blessed to be born by the God so we should cherish being alive.
Reply Report HailChina! 2017-2-20 08:23
shehemego: I have never watch any event in the Paraolympics. But I do have been moved by the encouraging spirts of some disableds fight for life. When I compare  ...
There is a very good Highway to Heaven episode about this you know. It is a double episode and it stars that Paul Walker guy from those car movies when he was a kid. Paul Walker plays a mentally disabled boy that lives at a home for disabled. Jonathan and Mark are coaches in the episode for a Special Olympics. It is interesting because they actually call the competition the "Special Olympics" but this is before the Special Olympics was a big thing that is tied to the actual Olympic Games. Anyway, this boy has mental problems and his family has sent him away mostly because he is an embarrassment more than a challenge to care for. They are not bad people exactly but they just dont want to deal with the fact that their son has a mental disorder. The kid is unhappy living at the home for disabled and he really wants a family. So anyway, the kid is a fast runner and Jonathon and mark get him to run in the Special Olympics and the kid meets this quadriplegic lawyer guy from previous episodes that is a lawyer and the husband of marks sister - and the two bond and the kid wants this quadriplegic dude to be his dad. And in the episode the quadriplegic has found that he cant have children of his own. Anyway, the episode puts a lot of focus on how society in the 80s was kind of ridiculous about how it treated disabled people as if they were freaks that should be hidden away. There seemed to be a lot of this kind of propaganda through the 80s. Trying to make people treat disabled people better. I remember a lot of shows about people that have epileptic fits and the lesson was that an epileptic is not a freak and if they have a fit dont panic just stand back and give them some room. Propaganda like this makes me think that US elites were maybe not always so evil - or maybe some of them had disabled children. Everything is insincere and has an agenda nowadays but back in the 80s it seemed genuine. But it is still odd because I wonder why anyone would treat another person badly for having disability. I think that society was maybe less collectively evolved in the 80s. Like when I was about 16 I was on a school excursion and we went to McDonalds to get something to eat and they had a day where disabled people worked there and some retarded workers somehow spilled a coke across the table that we were sitting at. And we tried to help her clean it up or whatever. And when we got on the bus the %$%$ of a female teacher praised us for not laughing at or making the disabled girl feel bad - and we were all sitting there disgusted at this teacher for the suggestion. As if we would. The girl was disabled for Christ sake. But see the teacher still had the unevolved mentality that the elites were directing their propaganda at in the 80s. It is an ego thing I think.

The Special Olympics is very political and silly nowadays in my opinion. Like the big special olympics campaign to stop people from using the so-called 'r-word'. To me this kind of thing is ridiculous. It is not good to encourage disabled people to see themselves as precious victims. And disablity should not be celebrated. The special olympics in the Highway to Heaven episode is not so much a celebration of disablity, it is more of an inclusiveness initiative.

The way I see it is like this - we should not celebrate disablity or suggest that a disabled person can have full quality of life like non-disabled. Society should put great resources into cures for disablity so that one day there are no quadriplegics because we can fix a spine. If someone loses a hand we should be able to give them a Luke Skywalker robot hand - or grow a new one from stem cells or something. We should do everything we can to make sure that disabled people have as good a quality of life as possible until we cure all disablity, and we should not allow disabled people to be born. See with the celebration of disablity we now have a situation where two down syndrome people can legally choose to have a child and they will likely be passing on their suffering to that child and for entirely selfish reason. This is not acceptable and the situation is caused by the celebration of disablity with stuff like the Special Olympics. Do you see what I mean?
Reply Report HailChina! 2017-2-20 08:57
This is what I mean about US 'elites' having a generation of idiot sons. To me the offspring seem 100% evil but in the 80s you didnt feel that.

edit - If you find a monster you kill it right? You have to.
Reply Report Min1989 2017-2-20 09:26
voice_cd: thanks for sharing your story here, we would like to highlight it on the homepage.
Thank you for that~~~
Reply Report Min1989 2017-2-20 09:33
alyssadeng: The novel version tells you more.
Thank you for your advice~ I will go check the book
Reply Report Min1989 2017-2-20 11:10
HailChina!: Look at Patricians. They would all cut their own throats before living like us. And most of them still would. The movie is just capitalists making fun ...
Thank you for your long comment. I find you' ve offered an interesting angle to examine this movie. What you have mentioned here didn't come to my mind when I was watching this movie. I was so immersed in thinking choosing to live or die and didn't really think and still don't think this movie held prejudice against the disabled. But you are right, the people with special needs may think that way. So the writer could have been more sensitive to issues like that. You also mentioned that it is really difficult for poor people who are disabled to live under a capitalist government. I think no matter what kind of government disabled people live under, life is always difficult to them. I want to thank you for mentioning this. Because it made me realise that the disabled people don't get much attention from Chinese public. We don't seem many disabled people out in the public. The scaricity of facilities designed for disabled people is extraordinary. There should be a better environment for them to enjoy a relatively quality life.
Reply Report HailChina! 2017-2-20 12:16
Min1989: Thank you for your long comment. I find you' ve offered an interesting angle to examine this movie. What you have mentioned here didn't come to my min ...
Well I say capitalist because we all exist in a capitalist global economy and capitalists do not develop technology to help people, only for profit. In western nations other than USA we used to all have a single payer health system and it was actually very good and the philosophy behind it was very good. All of the extreme capitalist thinking comes from USA. The Americans put out ideas like they want to have a tax on third/second world nations that have not contributed to health technology. It is all about profit and bring technology "to market". The idea is that good healthcare is not a right of the citizen, it is something that they must pay for and if they cannot then they should suffer or die. In USA conservatives have cheered at the thought of letting fellow Americans die if they cannot afford health insurance. The 'preexisting conditions' nonsense that they pretend is the left side of the American capitalist showing compassion to the poor is in fact just a corporate welfare scheme which is part of the greater ponzi scheme that is the US capitalist healthcare system. Obama promised a 'public option' but there is none in 'Obamacare' - it is 100% corporate welfare that funnels public treasure to insurance corporations. The same scam is used in Australia with the National Disability Scheme which is a corporate welfare scam that let's insurance companies make profit from the disabled and the taxpayer has to pay for it. See in USA the healthcare industry is over 20% of the US economy. It is all about money. So that is why I see a sign for a charity that is raising money to give wheelchairs to disabled Australian children - because the state really doesn't care about poor people - even if disabled. Capitalists want to cut all welfare so poor people have to do horrid work for almost no pay so they don't starve to death. I suspect that you are fine with this like many people - especially after reading your LA LA Land blog. Of course people that do not get a university education that allows them to earn let's of money and live nice should live a horrid life right? Of course right. How else could it work? Ha. Good lord.

So there will never be utopia under capitalism because capitalism wants to profit from everything - every problem. Capitalism needs people to exploit and needs people in a state of insecurity so they can be exploited and that is why they are fanatical about cutting welfare and privatizing everything.

Imagine if the world was like Oscar Wilde essay 'The Soul of a Man Under Socialism'. Not so-called 'Chinese socialism' but true socialism. Imagine that. Wouldn't it he nicer for everyone? Wouldn't the spice still flow?
Reply Report HailChina! 2017-2-20 12:22
Min1989: Thank you for your long comment. I find you' ve offered an interesting angle to examine this movie. What you have mentioned here didn't come to my min ...
And yes - Chinese people should he utterly ashamed of yourselves for allowing your disabled to suffer the way that they do. I have seen them locked away in what a basically prisons for the disabled and seen you pat yourselves on the back about them. It is like your horrid orphanages. Some have written about them here as if to normalize the shocking things. I do not understand what is wrong with everyone. It is as if you are all monsters. None of you really care and the hell on earth that surrounds you all does not seem to bother you in any way at the end of the day. Nothing more than a passing thought. I do not mean to attack you personally but with capitalists in charge this is a hell on earth and we are all a bunch of demons.
Reply Report HailChina! 2017-2-20 12:25
Min1989: Thank you for your long comment. I find you' ve offered an interesting angle to examine this movie. What you have mentioned here didn't come to my min ...
Look how wealthy Australia is and they have disabled children begging a wheelchair from a charity. That in itself should be enough for us all to overthrow the evil capitalists. Apparently not though. Everyone is all out for themselves. Buy an iPhone. Buy something. Buy something!
Reply Report HailChina! 2017-2-20 12:34
Min1989: Thank you for your long comment. I find you' ve offered an interesting angle to examine this movie. What you have mentioned here didn't come to my min ...
The starting point of your mentality that you think that it is acceptable for anyone without a common university education to live a horrid life is the key problem of the capitalist world. You educated people all live nice lives - even the ones that do an arts degree because how the hell were they so comfortable in life that they chose to do that anyway? I wasn't so comfortable at 18 I can tell you. So you are the problem not the solution. You are all essentially neo-slave owners. It is fine that I suffer a horrid existence since I have no education right? What else? How else could it be? Of course I should suffer right? If I was disabled it wouldn't make any difference.

You live the way you do and you are surrounded by all of the suffering and misery. And what is the answer? Capitalist charity? Thank the capitalists for taking away our state and making us heg for charity? What? What?
Reply Report shehemego 2017-2-20 14:35
HailChina!: There is a very good Highway to Heaven episode about this you know. It is a double episode and it stars that Paul Walker guy from those car movies whe ...
I finally get your point and think of it somewhat right. As to me, I think I am a bit like the teacher you mentioned because when I see a person of disability walking at the my sight I feel sorry for them and think of them different from us of no disability. If I can transmute my mentality of treating the disabled into that considering the disabled equally, not sorry for them but harbouring hope that the science can serve to make them live a more convienient life. I hope some day I can shake off the mentality I hold for a long time.
Reply Report HailChina! 2017-2-20 14:53
shehemego: I finally get your point and think of it somewhat right. As to me, I think I am a bit like the teacher you mentioned because when I see a person of di ...
What I mean when I say that I think it has something to do with ego is that the low and pathetic ego of the teacher makes her think that she is superior to the disabled person - and that makes her think that laughing at a disabled person that spills a drink is a reaction she should expect from others - or has had herself at some point in her life. Pathetic ego. There is a similar thing happening with racism. Another similar thing is how adults will often act superior to children - and if they teach them something they act as if they are all superior and that the child should be greatful that they have been nice enough to share their little wisdom with the kid. You know what I mean. Educated people have a similar feeling toward uneducated people. Little egos.
Reply Report shehemego 2017-2-20 22:05
I know what you mean. But maybe your teacher just wanted to teach you to show sympathy for the disabled.

facelist doodle Doodle board

You need to login to comment Login | register


Recent comments

  • The Purpose of Reading 2018-4-12 13:45

    we have the same feeling about. reading,reading. really tells us a lot especially when welearn foreign can help us to understand other. country's culture and customs.therefore,when we talk. in foreign languages.we. needn't worry about. making too. much also can enrich our life.let's enjoy reding

  • Why don't We Stand Out and Fight? 2018-4-4 14:14

    It is actually emotionally and mentally healthy to have nursing homes for old people in residential areas, and makes it easy for families to visit their elderly relations regularly.
    Death happens to everyone and it is stupid to hide it away. Death is not bad luck - it will happen to you and me.
    In some European countries there are homes for the elderly next to kindergartens, and everyone benefits from interacting with each other on a daily basis.
    The elderly benefit from interacting with children and keeps them mentally alert, whereas the young learn about death as a normal part of life.

    For a country that supposedly 'respects' their elders, China has a very superstitious attitude to death and dying.
    where i am from, the elderly are allowed and supported by family and state) to be independent and in their own homes.
    Where medical treatment is needed, residential homes allow the elderly appropriate facilities in towns and cities while their families can visit easily and local residents can interact with them.
    In addition, local communities benefit from being able to interact with these residents and the residents can still be part of a local community, not hidden away as something to be ashamed of or 'taboo'.

    Shame on China for such medieval superstitious attitudes regarding death.
    Does China 'respect' the elderly so much that they should be hidden away from people's lives?

    Do you want to be isolated and hidden away when you are old and your family don't want to or can't visit you?

Star blogger










Most Viewed

Most commented

Contact us:Tel: (86)010-84883548, Email:
Blog announcement:| We reserve the right, and you authorize us, to use content, including words, photos and videos, which you provide to our blog
platform, for non-profit purposes on China Daily media, comprising newspaper, website, iPad and other social media accounts.