Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Sea Inside and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Compare and Contrast:
While The Sea Inside and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly had several things in common, i feel that they were very different variations of two similar creatures. To begin with the few similarities, the first, and most obvious is that both main characters are in a state of immobility; Jean-Dominique Bauby with a case of locked in syndrome, and Ramon Sampedro a quadriplegic. The second thing I observed was that they both felt a need to narrate their stories; JdB wrote a memoir, while Ramon made a video documenting how he went about guiding his friends through the steps necessary to kill him. A third similarity was their use of imagination to leave their bodies behind and do as they wish; Ramon flying over the Spain to Julia, while JdB would converse and chat with Napolean's wife. This is the point at which I feel the more prominent similarities end, and the differences stand out more; Ramon wanted to die, while JdB tried to find a way to survive and stay busy, so as to keep himself alive, and not just in the physical sense. Ramon also was able to speak and verbally communicate with those around him, while JdB was not; he could only blink. Their locations and tenures in their handicapped states were also quite different; Ramon stayed with family who cared for him over his 28 years, while JdB stayed at the Berck-Sur-Mer hospital for only a handful. These things added up to extract different feelings from me; The Sea Inside was much more powerful to me, because it was a visual portrait of the people and their feelings, while the drama loomed like the proverbial elephant in the room. I felt that because the issue was more controversial and had a darker feel, it only served to increase the gravity of the movie. Meanwhile, DBATB had more light, happy moments, as JdB attempted to find that silver lining as much as he could, and often employed his clever humor, which was paralleled by a darker, grim form of amusement in the Sea Inside. This is why the Sea inside held more weight for me in my head, compared to the DBATB.

No comments: