Away from Her is a Canadian film that brings out the realism of Alzheimer’s disease onto the big screen and it is directed by Sarah Polley. It stars Gordon Pinsent, Julie Christie and Olympia Dukakis, all of which have been veterans in the acting world. While the premise seems typical of such a drama involving memory loss due to the disease, could there be something else that differentiates this from the rest? Read on the Away from Her film review below to find out!
Brant and Fiona perhaps represent what we thought as a perfect couple who manage to go through high and low until old age. They are still very much in love with each other…until Alzheimer’s struck Fiona at an unfortunate timing. With the disease taking away her precious memories, could their love life be doomed? Or perhaps Love is truly the potion to such situation?
Two main themes are always present: Realism and Reversal. The former is very true and sticks to the storytelling from the beginning. We are shown the frailness of humans when they loved one was diagnosed with Alzheimer. It was a really heartbreaking experience as you have to adapt. The main character, Brant, has to force himself to adapt to this situation. There is no way around it and Love is not the magic potion.
Reversal is another point that is subtly shown in the movie. It is the reversal of memories and love. You will feel the pain in your heart when you see Fiona, who is afflicted by Alzheimer, starts to adapt by letting Brant go. Next, she becomes best friend and semi-lover with one of the patient. And it causes Brant heartache which reverses to him becoming depressed and almost suffers the same disease.
The story is paced quite slowly, but you are always engaged with it. The sheer portray of realism keeps you grounded and hoping for a miracle. However, ironically, it seems that the only miracle only happened when you give all of your love by adapting, and letting go of the past memories, so as to assure the present would be a happier state for both parties. The actors are doing very well, especially Fiona’s, in bringing out the gradual degradation of her mental and physical health.