Movie Review: If I Stay

14 April 2015

By Katy

This film was a heart wrenchingly beautiful film based on the novel by Gayle Foreman. In parts you’re celebratory of how perfect the two are for each other, then the next moment your eyes are stinging, you’ve got a lump in you’re throat and you’re welling up. Now, I have a heart of steel when it comes to films. I’ve cried at precisely two in my life; I wept twice in the duration of the film.

The film is based on two teenagers Mia Young (Chloë Grace Moretz) and Adam (Jamie Blackery). After years of hiding in the music room, Mia is finally noticed by school heartthrob and fellow music lover Adam. They fall for each other instantly and embark on an extraordinary but bumpy relationship for the next year. The course of life begins to change for Mia after she and her family are involved in a car accident in which her parents and little brother are killed. Mia’s own life also hangs in the balance. She wakes up having had an out of out of body experience and now has to take her life in her own hands. We follow her journey as she makes the ultimate decision that there’s no going back from. Will she decide to pursue her dreams of playing the cello and living with the love of her life , Adam? Or will she decide that she can’t bear to live without her loving and carefree family?

The storyline of this film is so painful yet so breathtakingly beautiful, Mia is apprehensive about throwing herself into the realms of a new relationship with Adam and it is amazing to see this blossom as the film unfolds. The two actors have a chemistry that is genuinely involving and it is a pleasure to see the two grow. As well as the relationship between the two teenagers, the family bond is truly admirable. Watching the film makes you realize the importance of close family and friends due to the carefree, loving and close knit family we see being played out on screen. The supporting cast of the film seem to have genuinely invested in the character they play, even as their parts seem to be smaller.

The most painful moment was watching Mia’s family where they think they will lose her. In particular the scene that broke my heart was as Mia’s Gramp (Stacy Keach) delivers his parting words. You can see the sheer pain in his eyes as he reminds Mia that she does still have family and friends around her giving her all the support she needs whilst still giving her a choice of life or death. It is to Keach’s credit that this small scene becomes the heart of the film.

“It’s okay if you want to go. Everyone wants you to stay. I want you to stay more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my life. But that’s what I want and I could see why it might not be what you want. So I just wanted to tell you that I understand if you go. It’s okay if you have to leave us. It’s okay if you want to stop fighting.”

The soundtrack fully compliments the film with songs from the characters main fortes of classical Beethoven to classic rock. They add to the emotion of each scene, especially in Mia’s deciding moments as Adam performs the song Heart like yours for Mia at her bedside. The question is though, will this be enough for Mia to stay with him or will she follow the rest of her family?

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