Wednesday, September 17, 2014

If I Stay (2014)

“Isn't it amazing how life is one thing and then, in an instant it becomes something else. Like here I am, Mia, the girl who thinks about the cello and Adam, and whether I get a stupid letter or not, and just like that...”

Four years ago I studied abroad in London for a month. It was the first time I was ever away from home for so long and the first time I was in a foreign country. I missed my family terribly I kept thinking about them and all the things each one would have liked to have seen and done. One day I was in the Imperial War Museum (one of the absolute best museums I have ever been to. Definitely go if you can) and my friend were walking through the Holocaust section. It was the first time I had ever seen anything related to the tragedy. The one part I will absolutely never forget for the rest of my life was hearing an interview of a survivor. The survivor was a woman and she said at the time when she was taken to a camp she had been separated from her brothers and father. Her mother was with her. She went on to say that if she had to she could possibly imagine life without her father and brothers but she could never imagine living life without her mother. After hearing this I got so choked up. I missed my mom the most and I even missed my dad even though he drives me up a wall. I missed my three younger brothers too mostly because I knew they would have been having a ball in London. That part of the interview hit me right in the gut. I could never imagine my life without my family no matter how we may argue or grate each other’s nerves we still love each other unconditionally. I remember going back to my room that night and emailing my mom about the interview. I nearly cried writing that email.  
Now you might be thinking what does a line from an interview with a Holocaust survivor have to do with the new movie If I Stay. It has everything to do the main character’s struggle of wanting to let go and wanting to live.
Mia Hall (Chloe Grace Moretz) comes from a family who loves her unconditionally. Her parents, Denny and Kat (Mireille Enos), are very into music especially rock music. Mia on the other hand loves classical music and plays the cello extremely well. She loves her parents but she is in no way like them and feels like the odd duck out.
School is canceled one day due to snow. Denny and Kat convince Mia to come out with them to spend some time together. With some bribery and guilt tripping from her parents and her younger brother, Mia agrees to go. Unfortunately tragedy befalls the family when their car is struck head on by a truck on the icy, snowy roads.
Mia is now left in limbo. She can see and hear everything that is happening around her. Her physical body is taken to the hospital where she is operated on for hours. A nurse tells her on the operating table that her whole fight, whether she survives or not, is up to her. Mia now has to choose to live or not. She thinks over her life with her parents and her brother and how her world will be nothing without them. She especially thinks about Adam, her boyfriend and the love of her life. Mia has to think now that there is no one there for her besides her grandparents if being alive just for Adam and to go to Juilliard to play her cello will be enough.
I must confess I only went to see If I Stay to see Mireille Enos. A few weeks ago I saw Chloe Grace Moretz on Live with Kelly and Michael and the clip that was shown for If I Stay was one with her and Enos. I loved the scene. I got super excited to Enos because I thought she was incredible in the TV show The Killing. After seeing Enos in If I Stay I think I like her even more. I was not expecting to see her in a role like Kat Hall, this rock chick who was all carefree, after watching her be so serious in The Killing. Two of her scenes were my favorite of the entire movie. Enos was fantastic. Moretz just killed her role she was amazing. The girl can only get bigger and bigger she has such a great talent for acting. I have seen her in several other movies (she will always be the little girl from the Amityville Horror remake to me) and this was my favorite of hers.
If I Stay was completely heartbreaking yet excellent. The entire cast was perfect. The story was good. I was not thrilled that Mia chose to live for a boy but  for her Adam was her true love and someone that was so important she wanted to live for. Right now in my life I only have my family that I would want to live for. That was my point with the interview from the Holocaust survivor from the Imperial War Museum. I could never live without my parents and my brothers. I wanted to and still want to cry just thinking if, God forbid, anything like what happened to Mia ever happened to me and my family. I know I would never be able to get over their loss and I would feel such pain and ache and want for them every day. But I know they would have all wanted me to move on and live my life. I know they would always be with me and watch over me and love from wherever they had gone to.
I absolutely recommend seeing If I Stay. It is such a good gut wrenching emotional story with great acting.