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    “See to it no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

    « 1 Samuel Commentary: Part 1 | Of Love and Lust: "The Wasteland" vs. "Song of Songs" »
    Wednesday
    Sep222010

    "Million Dollar Baby" Review

    As part of a now-weekly ritual, my husband and I snuggled in bed late at night to watch a film. This time we had chosen the Academy Award-winning movie “Million Dollar Baby”. We had high expectations for such an acclaimed movie, and to be honest, we were not disappointed. Until the end.

     

    Our family history includes the tragedy of losing our first child, an infant daughter named Elizabeth Ann. Because of severe heart defects (unrelated to genetics) coupled with a condition known as Hydrops Fatalis (infant edema, or swelling), she died following a wrenching and exhausting twenty-two hours after birth. With this background, we waited on the edge of our seats, breathless, wondering how the film would end. We were extremely disappointed.

     

    "[Million Dollar Baby] asks(ing) What shows more heart - to help a loved one to die with dignity, or to offer support to ease the pain of what they view as a valueless existence?" (A Film Review by James Berardinelli)

     

    What a choice: die or be as good as dead. Whatever happened to Hollywood’s heralding of Christopher Reeve, who was in the same situation as Maggie? He went on to accomplish many things, after he had “seen the world” (Million Dollar Baby).

     

    Just about every review from Rolling Stones, to Roger Ebert calls it “emotionally powerful” and it is. “A masterpiece”, but with what morals? The ending in "Million Dollar Baby" is very hopeless. “Remember what Daddy did for ___?” (the family dog). Basically, she is asking Eastwood’s character to let her die.

     

    While her circumstances are extremely difficult, there could have been a glimmer of hope. Eastwood's character suggests purchasing a wheelchair with a breathing tube so she could have mobility, and go back to school, but this idea is promptly treated with disdain as pointless.

     

    This movie tells audience members if a person cannot live a “normal” life,  they should have the option of being put out of their misery. Nevermind they could go back to school, write a book, compose a song, give a lecture, or host an interview.

     

    Yes, disabilities may be extremely limiting, but the possibilities in life are endless! We focus so much on the here and now, and never consider patience, perserverance or the “silver lining” concept anymore. Yet, we cheer when the media showcases those who have overcome their disabilities whether animals or people.

     

    Yes, the movie is powerful. Yes, the film is tip-of-your-seat stuff. Yes, the acting was fantastic. But the ultimate decision, albeit motivated by intense love, was to end a now “worthless” life of dependabilty (Cost was not an issue in this case as the protaginist was a millionaire). What a smack in the face. All the pent-up air from holding our breath was released in a rush, and we were left reeling and despressed in the darkness.

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