“Fend It Off”
I typically do not watch movies that are nominated for or win big awards like the Golden Globes and Academy of Motion Pictures (Oscar’s) because I find that my taste in movies and the people who make these nominations are very different.
However, I recently decided to watch Manchester by the Sea because I like Casey Affleck as an actor and find that most movies that Matt Damon is involved with are decent. I had no idea what the movie was about, but many people I know that did see the movie said it was “depressing.”
Even with the poor reviews from friends and the morning radio talk show hosts that slammed the movie, I decided to watch it anyway. That was about a month ago and I must say the movie wasn’t what I expected, not even close.
I found the movie powerful and truthful. I felt the sadness and pain from the main character because I could relate. I felt anxiety and emotion well up in me as I watched it with my wife. Although it is a depressing, it is an excellent movie about a man that lost two children because of his actions. The movie speaks the truth, which I for one appreciate.
A man whose wife left him after the children died. Although the actions were an accident, they were still his actions and something that he could never get over. He couldn’t forgive himself for what had happened. He moved away (from Manchester) and lived a very isolated and minimalistic existence.
Casey Affleck did an amazing job of portraying the feelings of a dad that lost his children. The anger, self-hatred, the alcohol, the struggle to forgive himself and the inability to allow himself to move forward in life.
One scene in the movie shows the grieving dad leaving the police interrogation room and grabbing one of the police officer’s guns and trying to shoot himself in the head before being tackled by several other police officers. The scene was powerful, very real, and believable. He wanted to die. I think many grieving dads will relate with this scene or at the very least understand the emotional pain this guy was in when he made this rash decision.
One of the lines in the movie I thought was powerful was when he said, “I can’t beat it.” Referring to “getting over” the loss of his two children. I think all of us can relate to that line. My wife and have a saying, “you get through it, but you never get beyond it.” Basically, it’s the same thing.
I’ll never get over losing my children, but I’ve learned to survive it. I’ve learned to put a smile back on my face and mean it most of the time. However, there is this dark cloud that is always lingering in the back of my head. I generally fend it off, but I know its waiting for me to have a moment of weakness or let my guard down. There are some days it wins, but most of the time, I do. But I always know it lingers around every corner, waiting for the right moment.
If you have not seen this movie, I highly recommend it. If you have seen it, share your thoughts with me.