Friday, April 23, 2010

Writing emotions...

I've been watching a lot of movies lately. Today, I watched My Sister's Keeper. Although I didn't necessary like it (I knew going in it wasn't going to be a happily ever after), I did get something out of it. The movie is a heart wrenching tale of a young girl who wants to be medically emancipated from her parents. You see, her sister got leukemia at a very young age. Since neither her parents nor brother was a donor match, the parents did something-- they genetically ensured a baby would be born with the right genetic material that would ensure a match.

Anna Fitzgerald was used to donating for her sister, whether it was blood cells, marrow or whatever. But it isn't until her sister relapses that Anna makes the decision (at age 11) to sue her parents for medical emancipation. One thing about this movie, despite me definitely NOT liking the mother and the way she handled everything, was that it knew how to pull on a person's emotions.

It didn't just explode at the black moment, but was there in the beginning. Every scene, every new character arch that was revealed, the emotion was there, raw and in your face. And it was there until the end.

Would I watch it again? No. The mother really really was not a sympathetic character. I wanted to smack her, to demand that she pay more attention to her youngest daughter, to listen to what she and the others were saying instead of having everything be about her. Most of all, I wanted the sister to live. Realistic? No, but Denial might as well be my middle name.

What I did get out of the movie, was how to build up that emotion instead of suffocating the audience with it. For that, I do think if you're wanting to write a heart-wrenching story like that, My Sister's Keeper would be a good movie to watch. No matter what the outcome was.

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