Movie Review On Als, Life, Death And Friendship Depicted In “Tuesdays With Morrie” By Mick Jackson
Based on the book of the same name, “Tuesdays with Morrie” is a television film shot in 1999. The memoir was written by Mitch Albom, the contemporary American writer and sports journalist, and published in 1997. The book immediately became a success and was soon considered a best seller.
What made it so popular among the readers was the touching storyline of the relationships of the former student and his professor. Mitch Albom, being in the process of making a career in the sports journalism, is a person always in a hurry and never able to dedicate some extra time for the beloved people, namely his girlfriend Janine. Right at the beginning of the movie, the viewer finds out that Mitch and Janine are together for already 7 years, and Mitch avoids any conversations about marriage. During another quarrel on the topic, he finds out from the news that his favorite old professor Morrie is sick and is going to die soon because of ALS, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Mitch is really sorry and feels like talking to him but doesn’t feel comfortable to appear after so many years, and his work doesn’t allow him to go to another city for a long time. Janine persuades him to go, and after that his life will change: Mitch will learn to find time for things that are important; he will dedicate himself to an old washy man who needs him; he will lose his girlfriend and make a proposal to her, start playing piano again, and the most important – he will become open and get rid of his fears. All that will happen to him because of the fabulous life lessons taught by his professor every Tuesday. The inner conflict Mitch has at the beginning of the movie (which is visually unnoticed by the viewer but is found by Morrie) will be solved by the end because he will learn to give and receive love. Morrie dies peacefully and is symbolically buried on Tuesday.
The viewer of the movie admires the bravery and cheerfulness of Morrie, as well as the evolution of Mitch’s world view. When he first visits his old friend, he only feels sorry and uncomfortable. During his last visit, he cries and is able to actually pronounce he loves Morrie. As any other journalist, Mitch lives from deadline to deadline, and he thinks he is not an emotional type. But what Morrie does to him is open his eyes to see how beautiful every day is and what a huge part love possesses in life. To see a person dying is a great challenge – not only be able to be near, but also pass the life wisdom of an old man through oneself. But that is exactly what Mitch managed to do.
He learnt how not to feel uncomfortable and be afraid to give all the possible help to Morrie including giving a massage to his feet and back, carrying him from one room to another, bringing his favorite food and offering the oxygen mask during Morrie’s asthmatic attacks. Mitch admired Morrie and became faithful to him. He wanted to help and did not want to disappoint him; maybe it was one of the reasons he tried to become better so devotedly. The viewer might even think his aim was to make it before Morrie’s death because that is when he won’t be able to ask for a precious advice.
Morrie told he sometimes woke up in tears and full of anger because he could not accept he had deserved the disease. Lou Gehrig's disease is not investigated perfectly to answer the main question – what causes it. So what Morrie, as well as other people with ALS, met with was the paralyzation of limbs without any reason or warning. A cheerful person who loved to dance and eat, and was sincere with his students and loved by them, one day has to become stuck in his body and completely depend on other people. Such a disease terrifies a sick person because of understanding the unfairness of the situation.
Morrie was just a human being capable of anger and fear but what made him phenomenal was his incredible love of life, sense of humor no matter what and clear point of what was happening to him. He was thankful to Mitch for being by his side, as well as Mitch was for helping him become better basing on Morrie’s life experience Mitch never had. It was love that made these two people give the best to each other.
What makes “Tuesdays with Morrie” special is that the film is not about disease causing death – it is about the beauty of life. The 77 year old man became sick eventually and at this point, he started analyzing his life and what he did. In the movie, the only thing he regrets of is being selfish to his father – he should have understood and forgiven him. The one behaving inappropriately is a person who has some fears – and that was his father. The wisdom is to give a hand to this person and not turn your back on him and take offence. Now, not able to walk and take care of himself, Morrie advises Mitch to forgive everyone just right from now and not give your pride freedom to develop.
Morrie managed not to let Mitch drown into popular culture he was already in, with all the gossips and chase for celebrities. Morrie persuaded him that that was not really important, and people should create their own culture and not being dictated by the media. Another ethical issue one can find in the movie is Morrie’s unwillingness to stay in bed, otherwise it would seem he gave up to the disease and accepted that he was going to die.
“Tuesdays with Morrie” reminded me of the horrible disease of ALS, as well as of the person’s duty to appreciate life for every single moment it gives. At some points, I felt like I was Mitch, and Morrie’s words touched my very heart. I literally called several people to remind them I love them; I let go several unpleasant situations and forgave both myself and the people involved. Such movies contribute to the viewer’s “shake-up” so that he could stop running for a second, turn around and take some time to think of what is going on in his life and ask himself whether he is satisfied with it; the person recalls the beloved people at this moment and judges objectively whether he acted right or wrong.
Looking at Morrie, I was thinking that the wisest person is the dying person, however sad it would sound. Looking and listening to a dying person is a great push to appreciate and enjoy what you have without judging or complaining.
The movie is definitely fabulous, and I would highly recommend it to family and friends expecting that they would feel the same way I did, and maybe this film would bring a little change into their world views and life itself.
DE BOTTON, ALAIN. “Continuing Ed”. The New York Times (1997). Literary Reference Center. Web. 28 Feb. 2015.
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