Issue 28 – Film Review of  “Five Feet Apart (2019)”

By Jasmine Wong and Minnie Tso (ELED Year 2 students 2020-21) 

Five Feet Apart (2019 version), cast by Cole Sprouse and Haley Lu Richardson, is a romantic movie about friendships and romantic relationships between Cystic Fibrosis patients. Stellar, Will and Poe need to go to different therapies and take various kinds of medicines just to prolong their lives while waiting for a cure to be developed. Under the undesired health condition, their daily life has been restricted and close interactions among people are also forbidden as the infectious bacteria may spread through air, which could result in death. In this movie, most of the sentiments are expressed via words and body gestures, unlike ordinary people who can have skinship when they are thankful or missing their beloved ones. Although the illness separates them physically, they stay close together mentally.

The main theme of the film is to live in the moment and cherish what you have. Even though they sound simple and corny, they are the utmost pivotal messages to realize for the main characters in the film. Since they are living on their last legs, they seize to do everything they want every day. More crucially, they are thankful for the time granted by their body. People nowadays are striving for a higher salary, a higher social status or a more prestigious reputation. Sometimes they are too busy improving their lives. As a result, they tend to forget to pay attention to their surroundings and feel comfortable with what they own. When they fail to attain a social-norm-goal, they may feel frustrated, or simply, complain about their heads, society, or even their lives. People seem to not notice the essence of being satisfied with their possessions. As we are not going to know when we will lose our loved ones, we should list every moment as a precious memory and uphold them as the protagonists do.

Cherishing everything precious and important aside, the film also reminds me of the underlying risks behind every decision we made. Stellar insists on doing the treatments since this is the only way to keep her alive. Once she meets Will, she begins to change. She is willing to take risks such as stealing that one-foot distance for their relationship even she puts herself in a slightly dangerous situation. Most of us have encountered this dilemma when we make decisions – choosing an option that is less preferred yet more secure or the one that is more preferred yet riskier. We may even struggle for a while, doubting if we have selected a correct answer. However, in life, no one can tell if the choice is right or wrong. Once we are willing to bear the risks and responsibility behind, the decision we made seems to be accurate, at least in our mind.

Decision-making sometimes requires great determination and courage too, like the decision of Will leaving Stellar to avoid her getting infected again. They are a couple bound by fate, being unable to touch each other owing to the deadly disease. When Stellar eventually gets a lung transplant, which means she is given another opportunity to live, Will, who is still suffering, decides to depart as he doesn’t want to expose his girlfriend to the bacteria and dangers again. This is such a great yet heartbreaking thought because he opts for putting an end to their relationship over his desire of being with his love when they are reliant on each other. The selfless decision reflects the reality that sometimes, we shall let go of our love because of love.

In addition, we need to treasure our lives, especially when numerous patients do not own a chance to live. We should try to be optimistic when many are withstanding and fighting against the pain and disease to survive despite the incurability and desperation. When compared to those patients, encountering loss through an end to a relationship or a disheartening GPA is thoroughly just a bit of one’s lifetime. Seeing people tormenting by serious diseases demonstrates an unquenchable enthusiasm to be alive. The healthy have no reasons and excuses to end our lives because of such small failures.

“Life’s too short to waste a second” is the last sentence in the film. Darkness is always there in life. We might feel depressed or devastated when encountering it alone. Don’t waste time staying in the darkness, attempt to find out the light in life – the love and happiness we gained from family, friends and our lover. 

Leave a Reply