This movie was very surprising. I understand now why it won an academy award and it was fully deserved. I did have a few issues. I kept forgetting to hit pause while I was taking notes so I would miss a lot because I could not read the subtitles. It was so well written that it immediately put the viewer in the position that they had to face a decision right away did they agree with Ramon’s fight or find in morally and ethically reprehensible. Unfortunately I have had to deal with this subject directly.
My aunt has been in a wheelchair for 25 years. She recently spent three months in bed because of a massive bituminous ulcer. She has mentioned several times if things got so bad that she could not take her life on her own would someone care enough to help her. She has always said that all she needs is a doctor to figure out how to give people new bodies and her life would be perfect. I was very impressed with the amount of activity and relatively positive attitude of Ramon’s character throughout the film.
It was remarkable that even though he had to battle poverty and his severe physical limitations Ramon was very productive. His very vivid and active fantasy life really helped him maintain his positive outlook on life. I did find it interesting that some of the isolation that Ramon was subjected to was a a self-imposed exile because he did not like using his wheelchair. If he had allowed his family to take him outside more than once or twice a year he may not have been so isolated and allowed to ruminate on his thirst for death.
I guess there were a few different perspectives that could be looked at in this movie. First I thought it was very intelligent that Ramon had required his lawyer to have a debilitating disease in order to fight his case. People tell you to write what you know. I can fully understand why Ramon stated that his lawyer must be sick in order to take his case. It is much easier to fight for something if you truly believe in what you are fighting for. Some of the ethical issues that were so well done in this film include Julia’s plan to end her life and help Ramon as well.
The lady that is helping with Ramon’s case that gave him the potassium cyanide it seemed like a very famous way to kill one’s self. He pointed out that no one needed to make the connection to his death agent back to her. It seemed interesting that the judges and lawyers kept saying that they understood Ramon’s plight but they could not help him they were bound by the law. If they wanted things to change they had to change the legislation, but the people in the legal system were unwilling to help clear a path to legalizing Ramon’s method of death.
It was very well noted that no one had heard of a person that survived a suicide attempt being brought up on criminal charges because of their actions. A failed suicide is clearly an attempted murder the murky part is the victim and perpetrator are the same person. It made me so sad to see that Julia’s condition had deteriorated to such a degree that she did not remember Ramon and all that she had fought for with him. His death would validate her death. The really hard part that I struggle with is how much do you endure for one good day.
I was also impressed with how much Ramon’s family had sacrificed for a person that really wanted to die. It felt like to me Ramon was rejecting all of his family’s hard work and devotion with his desire to end his life. Ramon’s life was changed in a second. All it took was one impulsive decision to irrevocably change his and his family’s life. Ramon was serving a life sentence in a body that was useless because of this. One of the sub-stories is that his family was also imprisoned by his condition.
This movie was quick to show that people that have very little ability can still love and be loved. But as I feel love is not enough, nor is it a good reason to sustain a life that you hate. The choice of letting someone continue to hate breathing or peacefully end a difficult journey should not be something that the law should be involved in. If I want to drop out of a marathon because I can’t go on all I have to do is sit down not argue my case in front of race judges, life shouldn’t be any different.