This is one of those movies that are so easy to pass by if you ever had the chance to see it. Relatively unheard of and with no real big-name actors, I happened to chance upon this film and upon watching it, in a sense it has changed my life.
The film tells the story of an aged man, Morrie. He is dying. By some strange twist of fate he meets one of his old pupils from his teaching career, long ago. His pupil, who used to hold thesis' with Morrie back at school on Philosophy, starts to build a strong and highly emotional bond with his old teacher as he returns to Morrie every Tuesday to hold thesis' with him again. These thesis' are on the meaning of life and we watch as slowly Morrie's words of wisdom permeate through his pupil and start to change the way he looks at the world.
"Live every day as if you've got a bird on your shoulder. When you get up evey morning ask your bird, 'is this the day I'm going to die? Is this my last day on this earth?' And if you keep asking that bird that question you'll live your life differently." - one of the many philosophical insights Morrie shares with his pupil, while his pupil listens and records it all on a tape.
Throughout the film the sense of development and progression is always apparent, as is the sense of impending misery on the whole. This feeling is given as we watch Morrie deteriorate, while his pupil flourishes under Morrie's teaching. His life changes and he detaches himself from his hectic paparazzi lifestyle to seek the greater things in life.
However the film is not all doom and gloom. Despite what I say the film itself is beautiful, instead of emphasising the nightmare of death it glorifies life and to show this the film often demonstrates this best by Morrie's cheerful front on the Tuesdays, "Hey, I've reached a landmark. Remember when I told you someday I wouldn't be able to wipe my own ass? Well, it's happened."
Of course the end result is inevitable and as we near the climax of the film its hard to fight back the tears but then you remember the way Morrie cried all the time at the beauty of life and so you follow his teachings, you cry as the film ends and afterwards, you sit up in your armchair and a little bird appears on your shoulder, you ask it one question and get on with your life.
I thoroughly recommend this film for anyone. Its a beautiful piece of work, looking at the basic elements of life (Morrie holds thesis' on Love, Life, Death, Dependance, Marriage, everything) and generally teaching you about the world whilst blessing you with the chance of watching such a great story. Full marks.