If I Stay

Cast: Chloƫ Grace Moretz, Stacy Keach, Mireille Enos,
Jamie Blackley, Joshua Leonard
Direction: R.J. Cutler
Genre: Drama
Duration: 1 hour 47 minutes

Story: Mia Hall (Moretz) is in a coma after meeting with a car accident. While her body lies in stasis, her spirit lingers over memories and her loved ones and a decision she will have to ultimately take – should she fight for her life or shrug off her mortal coil?

Review: Mia is a cellist who, one fateful day, falls victim to a tragic and deadly car accident. Along with her family, she’s on the way to visit some friends. En route, the car hits an icy patch on the road and skids out of control. The paramedics arrive on the scene and go about swiftly treating the victims. Meanwhile, the perspective shifts to a disoriented Mia who, dazed and confused, tries to figure out what is going on?

With no place else to go, we then see her in the ambulance that makes its way to the hospital, where she is transferred to the intensive care facility. While the battle for her life in the physical world continues, she faces up to – quite literally – life-altering decisions and choices that belie her young age. A large part of her thoughts and emotions dwell on the bond she shared with her classmate Adam (Blackley). It is this aspect of the movie that actually prevents it from becoming too heavy.

In fact, their equation shared in the form of flashbacks comprises a huge part of the emotional tug of the film. Moretz manages to convey some of the delicate and bittersweet shades of love and romance with a maturity that prevents the movie from becoming a sob-fest. Therefore, the story moves at a brisk pace. However, what seems a bit heavy-handed are the images of Mia’s spirit hovering all over hospital corridors, as if Cutler is trying to emphasize the point that she is indeed disembodied and yet, sharing space with the living.

Mireille Enos and Joshua Leonard perform their supporting roles with a deft touch. Stacy Keach, who plays Mia’s grandfather, also provides some of the more tender moments in this heartwarming film.

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Volume 10 Issue 40 | New York | Oct 14

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