All Talk and No Action Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mar Adentro OR The Sea Inside is the true story of Ramon Sampedro - a quadriplegic of 29 years and his dream to die.

Ramon, who has been living like a vegetable owing to a dive that crippled him for life, wishes to die with dignity.

For him, life is a right and not an obligation. Pro life sermons from his religious family and the Church fail to change his mind.

Why an intelligent, well read and a warm hearted man might want to die - is what mostly forms the crux of the movie.

Through his every day struggles and the legal battles in every possible court of Spain, and later the EU, we get to have a peak at Ramon, his loving family and friends, his dependent life and the enormity of his particular situation.

Not one to judge others, Ramon does not think that all quadriplegics need to die, or are as unhappy as he is. He believes that one shouldn't be forced to live life only because others deem it to be worth living.

What makes it difficult for the audience to accept that Ramon might want to die is that, at no point, does he come across as a pessimist.

He spreads love and warmth and has quick wit. He writes well and sees things that ordinary people generally miss out on.

This makes it difficult for us to decide if Ramon should be helped to achieve his only one dream - that of death.
Though Javier Bardem does a very good job of bringing Ramon to life, I was happy to watch Belen Rueda once again after The Orphanage. I like the way she fills her characters with strength and poise.

One also gets to tread the delicate path of having to make a choice about Euthanasia.

While I am still not decided on the subject myself, it is difficult, not to empathize with people on both sides of the debate.

Why would and should I help a loved one end his life? My love and need for him would deter me to help him out of his hopeless situation. Also, if taken to another level, doesn't everything boil down to Karma? The cycle of deeds? He will die whenever his time his up. Why should I be an instrument in accelerating the process? Who gives me the right to decide if one needs to die?

At the same time, wouldn't it be very selfish of me to expect my kin to live, even if only like a vegetable, just because it is "the will of God"?? Why would I want him to die everyday, a million times, just so that the sham of a "beautiful and brave" life can be continued? Should he not have a say in this matter, especially when he is the one leading a tormenting life?

I am still undecided. But yes, it would be extremely tough to see my kin suffer just so that I get to be with him and live in the knowledge that he is "alive".

The movie is very well made - Everything, from the background score, to the cinematography, to the underplayed performances - all very well synchronized. The slow pace is perfect while bringing out the mundane lives of everyday people and also helps you have a look at the forever sad life of a quadriplegic.

Though viewing a movie with subtitles can be a pain, yet, it is worth a watch if the movie is beautifully made and leaves you with something to chew on.

I can't think of us making underplayed movies here. Anand, Kal Ho Na Ho and others have always had lots of masala to keep everybody happy and not force them to answer unpleasant questions.

I recommend this movie to lovers of Cinema, who wouldn't mind some food for thought with popcorn.

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