This weekend I watched a couple of movies that, as usual, made me put my thinking cap on. One of them was a French movie called Le Temps qui reste and the other one was called Seeking a friend for the end of the World. If you haven’t watched any of them, please be aware that I may spoil them for you if you carry on reading.
Both movies are about the end of something and about loss in some way or another and it was a total conincidence that I watched two movies with the same theme in the same weekend. Watching them made me think about our time on earth, about losing people and about our reactions to extreme circumstances.
Le Temps qui reste is about a trendy photographer in his thirties and with his whole life ahead of him when he discovers that, because of a terminal cancer, he has only 3 months to live. Yes, some dark stuff there. Not really knowing how to react to the tragic news, he starts behaving in a terrible way, mistreating the people he loves the most. He hides his illness from his family, apart from his grandmother, and goes through a couple of months of darkness until he finally dies, apparently in a peaceful place.
Seeking a friend for the end of the World is, as the title says, about the end of the world. With an asteroid nearing Earth, a man finds himself alone after his wife leaves in a panic. He decides to take a road trip to reunite with his high school sweetheart. Accompanying him is a neighbour who sort of changes the course of events. Unlike the photographer in the French movie, in Seeking a friend for the end of the World everyone is in the same boat, everyone is going to die. And the certainty of death makes people react in many different ways. Some people are calm about it and decide to just carry on as normal, whilst others decide that living life to the full and go crazy is their best bet.
As dark as it may seem, the two movies made me think about being in a situation like that. It’s practically impossible to know how you’d react to such news, but it made me wonder what I’d do if I only had 3 months to live or if an asteroid was coming to end our lives as Earth inhabitants. I think most people would want to be near their loved ones, so it will probably come as no surprise that my first reaction would be to fly back to Brazil to be with my family (Lee – my partner – in tow, for sure).
I’d probably also want to see a few places again, like the beach I loved so much as a teenager, Harmonia. If I was ill, there is one thing I’d do for sure: I’d write a letter to each of the people I love, to say why and how much I love them and what a great impact they had in my life. And if we were all going to die, I think I’d craft a plan with my family to make sure we were all together when that happened. Scary, of course, but the thought of being together somehow makes ‘the end’ a little bit easier.
Things like this are so far from our usual reality that when you think about it you only go for obvious answers, but when you are in the situation it’s possible that we just end up reacting in very unusual ways. I think that movies like this, as well as situations like this, make us put life into perspective. They make us think if we are focusing on the important stuff or if we are getting distracted by all the noise day-to-day life brings, giving importance to a bunch of stuff that really doesn’t matter. Time does go fast in life and sometimes we just have to try and watch our priority list as if we were seeing life from above. It’s a good exercise to think about life and about what we are doing with it from time to time. In that sense, I’d reccommend both movies.
And now the killer question (haha, interesting choice of words there)… if you were about to go to the other side, what would you do?