Yesterday I went to the cinema to see Now is Good with three of my girlfriends. I’d read the book, differently titled, Before I Die by Jenny Downham last year as I traveled home from Spain. I remember crying sobbing my heart out on the airplane, the lady seated next to me giving me strange glances. My grandfather has passed away earlier that year from cancer, and the book and its characters rang true to me, so that as I sat there reading the book, thousands of feet in the sky, I felt my heart break again.
Watching the movie last night ripped all those feelings open again, this time my beloved grandmother had only passed away 4 months ago. Her death came as a shock to the family and to all those around her. I sat in the cinema, and let the tears stream down my face, I desperately wanted to open my mouth and wail, but it seemed too personal.

The row, which consisted of just my friends and myself, shook with our sobs. Our noses running, sniffling back the lumps of pure unadulterated sadness that encapsulated us all. As the final titles appeared on the screen, we all looked at each other and began to giggle. The sight of 4 grown women sobbing their hearts out to dying Dakota Fanning is quite a sight.

This post is also to remind me of the emotions that are attached to our characters. Yes we can create sad scenes, a break up, a death, a sad goodbye, but it is the characterization and the reality that make it so important. If we can identify with the character, we’ll follow them on their path, breathing their air, fighting their fights etc. As Oisin McGann said earlier in the month, we need our characters to be emphatic. This has never been more true than last night as we followed our brave heroine on her struggle with cancer and love.
Caution: A word of warning to those going to see the movie. Bring an entire book of kleenex. It’s unbelievably sad. This is my new notebook.

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