I rarely cry over a movie. In fact the last time I cried was with The Passion of the Christ when even the heartless of men could melt at witnessing torturous scenes of a humble God who takes the helm of your religious beliefs. Well, I almost cried over Marley and Me, but I did not count that since tears didn't actually fall. Kids practically ruined that scene for me. Two other movies that I cried over were The Patriot of Mel Gibson and the first ever movie that made me cry, Edward Scissorhands.
I do love watching movies. I surrender to the possibility of poking raw desires and emotions. I'm not the type to repress a reaction or a thought. I'm very transparent and I'm such a lousy actor. Others may get the impression that I concentrate too much on repressing my tears, since it really doesn't fit my personality to cry at all, but I don't repress myself on a self experience. It just takes a lot of effort for people to make me cry. The story's timely situation, the actors' brilliant performance and the music to bring out my tears really have to play well. I've watched so many good movies to date, but so far I only remember crying over four.
Now make that five.
Before I went to mass this afternoon, I decided to catch up on my DVD collection. I fished out this particular movie that I'm itching to appreciate. It took me ten years later to finally get to watch What Dreams May Come.I know this isn't new. From my post about the newly released Underworld: Rise of the Lycans two weeks ago, now we've gone retro.
I've seen this movie when I was in High School. We had to make a Reaction paper out of it and I'm trying to recall if it was for Religion or Literature class. It doesn't matter. All I remember is that I was seated in a dark classroom, hunched over my Chemistry notebook, trying to study for a test. In short, I remember bits and pieces of the movie, but I could hardly say I watched it. In fact, I knew the gist, but I didn't enjoy or surrender to the experience. I didn't even get some parts of it and it almost hurt me not paying attention to Robin Williams' remarkable acting. But I had to choose. A failed Chemistry Test or watching a movie for a reaction paper I can easily weasel myself into passing. So, I ended up studying Chemistry in the dark.
When the time came that I had to make that Reaction Paper, I researched about the movie and resulted to other means. Being a fan of Robin Williams, I inserted bits and pieces of how I loved his raw performances in his other films. I interviewed a few reliable movie buffs in class and molded pages of fabricated reaction paper. I aced the paper in fact, but I still regretted not being able to watch the movie. If only Chemistry hadn't come up. So, I promised myself that I'll rent a video and watch it in my private time. But that time never came for almost a decade. It was only a couple of weeks ago that I pulled that thought in my aging memory when I saw a DVD copy in my regular "DVD Store." Without any hesitations, I bought it and immediately planned on watching it. But nature and time wouldn't (for the nth tmie) just cooperate and it took me a couple of weeks to finally put it in the player and just watch.
Good thing I did, because the movie is remarkable. It doesn't have your ordinary premise. It's a movie about death and how we base our own versions of afterlife. These two topics were discussed using psychology and emotions as leverage. It's risky and only the best imagination and storytelling could easily play around with human emotions and make it into a sensible movie. Aside from the wonderful technical and plot execution, this movie required actors that could immediately connect to the audience and bring out the the sufferings on the plate. If there's an actor that could handle these emotions in a subtle power that would be Robin Williams. He was so perfect for the role that his mere facial expression speak of anguish, of frustrations, of hope and of genuine love for his family and wife. Every time he is in a scene with his wife, played by the equally heartwarming Anabella Sciorra, he struggles to accept his crumbling marriage over despair and grief of his wife due to the death of their children. IN every crease of his face, in that subtle power of his voice and expressions, my heart would cringe.
Given the fact that Robin Williams, who is such a brilliant and versatile actor, has this heart wrenching face and ability to transcend powerful emotions humans dare not tap, the story was remarkable to begin with. It deals with how death of a loved one can destroy the living. It deals with the questions of afterlife and if there's such a thing as forever. The main couple in the story, the husband and wife, had a remarkable kind of love that would make anyone dream it was theirs. If I were to be married, I would want a life with a husband surrounded of bliss, overwhelmed with bliss than suffering. If ever I go mentally crazy, I would want a husband who would stick it through and never leave my side. I would want a husband who never leaves me even in death, no matter how crazy it may sound. I want someone who would go to hell and back for me or is just a saint who forces to be in hell with me. You get the picture. Bottomline, this movie is a certified tearjerker.
What can I say, I admit that this movie defeated me easily. I believe my tears must have dropped a couple of times. This movie made me think of my separation from the living and how it would affect me and those that I would leave. It made me think of my emotional threshold when it comes to tragedies. It also made me think of my version of afterlife, just in case what the movie tells us is true, that we all live our own versions of heavens when we die. No one has to wait for that to come though. We can all start living our dreams here. Living life like a piece of heaven on earth with the people that you love is a good start. And crying over a good movie is an art from heaven.