Me Before You (Blu-ray)

August 24, 2016 5 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton and Matt Malouf

Plot: What’s it about?

Will Traynor (Sam Claflin) is a recently paralyzed man who’s introduced to a new caretaker named Lou Clark (Emilia Clarke). She’s hired by Will’s mother and seems overly optimistic just to have a job (she was recently let go from her previous employer). Will used to be very active, so naturally this tragedy in his life has put a damper on things, but he slowly warms up to Lou. We see her learn about her responsibilities and the way to care for Will. The two of them share personal moments and slowly get to know each other. There’s a surprising plot revelation about midway through the film, but I’ll avoid spoilers. Suffice to say, it might rub some viewers the wrong way. I think it was a rather brave decision, but it didn’t increase my enjoyment of the film overall. I just felt it was nice to see a film like this attempt to take some risk.

I admit that I had little interest in Me Before You when I saw the previews for it earlier this summer. I’m simply not a fan of this genre of films. It seems like a film based on a Nicolas Sparks novel, but indeed it isn’t. It is based on the 2012 novel by Jojo Moyes. I imagine the novel was more interesting than the final product. The basic premise just doesn’t hold much interest. I have to wonder what the filmmakers saw in the novel that they’d think would translate into a good film. It’s slow and plodding and fails to garner much interest at all. I did like Emilia Clarke, but Sam Claflin seemed a bit flat. That hurts a film when he’s one of two major characters and a lot is riding on their chemistry. Maybe one day they’ll make good romantic films like they used to, but this isn’t the one.

Video: How’s it look?

The transfer is quite strong as details are fine throughout. The colors of the open space where some of the characters spend their time comes out nicely. The print always looked clean and free of flaws as well. Facial details shined through as well. The image is AVC encoded with a 2.40:1 ratio. Fans should be pleased with the results here. I can’t find much to fault here.

Audio: How’s it sound?

The DTS HD track is about as expected. This is mostly a talky film, so don’t expect an overly engaging track here. Vocals are fine and clear, but things are mostly front loaded here. The film’s soundtrack does liven things up a bit here and there. All things considered, I feel pleased with this track as it serves the film accurately with no major issues to speak of.

Supplements: What are the extras?

  • Me Before You: From Script to Screen – A fairly by the book featurette that covers all the bases in a pretty short amount of time. Some interviews with the cast and crew are interspliced with some scenes from the film which makes it play out like an extended trailer.
  • Deleted Scenes – Some scenes from the cutting room floor are shown, but it’s clear why they didn’t make the final cut.
  • Outtakes – Some dropped lines and antics on the set.

The Bottom Line

There’s clearly an audience for this type of film, but it’s just not for me. I didn’t care for the basic premise, but the characters don’t have much chemistry. It doesn’t help that the story doesn’t really go anywhere. Emilia Clarke is lovely, but she’s the highlight in an otherwise dull film.

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