Customer Review

39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life, Ethics, Personal Choice, 2 July 2007
This review is from: The Sea Inside [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
This story is about a couragous man, Ramon Sampedro, who became a quadraplegic due to a diving accident. 28 years later he choses to end his life because he can no longer live imprisoned in a useless body. He is tired of depending on others and yet he loves his family and those around him who did so much to make his life meaningful. Initially, he hires a lawyer to bring his case to court, to try to end his life legally. His lawyer is a woman, Julia, who has a disability which the viewer later learns is a chronic debilitating heart condition. She empathizes with Ramon's situation and begins to appreciate his finer qualities as she delves into his past and how it affects him when disabled. She wants to understand him as a total human being, not just a person with a handicap. Ramon also develops a relationship with another woman named Rose, who learns of his plight and visits him often. She becomes the person who perhaps comes closest to meeting his emotional needs ...

The film is shot artistically and realistically ... Alejandro Amendabar, the film producer, director, and creater of the musical score did a fabulous job of making a film which tackles a difficult subject - euthanasia. He made a film which shows the dignity of a human being who had a serious health problem, who made a conscious decision which few around him could accept. The personality of Ramon shines within this film. Javier Bardem plays Ramon showing a person who has a sense of humor as well as all human traits. Most amazing is how Javier Bardem holds his body stiffly, keeps his hands contracted, and his back arched, looking exactly like a paralyzed person. The views outside Ramon's window are stunning ... When he daydreams of flying and having a fully functioning body, the scenery of the mountains, streams, and shoreline of the beach are spectacular.

The ethics and conflicts which Ramon faces are felt by his family and everyone associated with his case. Julia and her assistant review the current laws and recognize the challenges which they will be facing when his case is brought to court. They want Ramon to go before the judges and explain his views ... believing in person he may sway them to understand his plight. Ramon has not been outside for many years and hates wheelchairs. Yet he sees this may be his best option to achieve his goal. He makes design alterations to his wheelchair which his family builds for him. He goes to court, the cameras are rolling ... His lawyers plead his case but the judges on a legal technicality, deny Ramon any time to speak. His request to die with dignity at a time of his choosing becomes the top news on television, the radio and in the newspapers ... A Catholic priest who is also paralyzed and in a wheelchair presents the case for life and surmizes before the cameras that perhaps Ramon has not received enough love from his family and is looking for this ... Manuela, his sister-in-law who has cared for Ramon during most of his paralysis is offended and hurt by the priest's allegations. She gets a chance to confront him, when the priest makes a visit to discuss Ramon's decision with him personally ... Ramon is confronted by his brother who adamantly states, that as head of the family, he will not allow anyone to kill himself in his house. The emotional toll of his decision on the family is shown fully and with sensitivity. It happens that at the end Ramon chooses to leave his home with one of his women friends to visit a seaside resort. This is where his final days are spent.

The point of the film was to present life as it is lived from the POV of Ramon a paraplegic who is totally dependent on others. The whole idea was that in a mainly Catholic society (Spain) there was ONE person who stood *against* the majority (who believed it is a sin to commit suicide). He was trapped in a paraplegic body and wanted OUT. His family showed they loved/cared/sacrificed for him, no matter how it affected themselves and how it strained their relationships. At times, they were at emotional breaking points. The film was so outstanding I can not say enough about it. I had tears in my eyes often throughout the film. My highest recommendations. Be prepared to use up several boxes of tissues ...

Erika Borsos (pepper flower)
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 Mar 2013 20:24:13 GMT
Well done Erika! I buy this movie surely.
Előre megríkattál egy kicsit öreg pasi létemre. Arról nem is beszélve, hogy nem elég a Bardem a kedvencem, összejön Penelopéval, aki a másik. Úgyhogy most ezzel együtt már négy filmet rendelek kettejüktől egyszerre, de persze nem itt...persze ez titok...
István Kotormán (Steven izé.. Kotormán)

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jul 2013 23:48:54 BDT
Erika Borsos says:
Köszőnőm a valaszot!!!Remélem élvezni fogod. De ez egy szomoru film sok szempontbol. De nagyon kitűnő is!
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