Not all movies make me cry. I’m not necessarily a major weeper, but if a movie or a TV show strikes just the right chord, then my tears are a melody of all my feels.
That being said, there are some movies that make me cry more than most – and make me cry every time I watch them. This is one of those movies. (Beware: there are obviously spoilers.)
I realized now that I forgot to write about this particularly heart-rending film.
If you’ve read the book, I applaud you. My friend read it and then warned me that I may not be able to get through it in one piece. So instead I just watched the movie and honestly, I barely got through that. But reading and spending so much more time in the grief and sorrow of these characters would have been too much to handle.
I once saw the book in a bookstore after I’d seen the movie and decided to flip to the last chapter, where all the grief and sorrow of the story culminates into one moment, and I had to hold back tears in the bookstore aisle.
If you’ve never read the book, never watched the movie and never even seen the trailer, I assume your heart is still in one piece.
The Reader’s Digest version is as such: Tom is a WWI veteran who decides to live in an isolated lighthouse far off the coast of Australia in order to deal with his demons. The few times he does visit the mainland, he meets and falls in love with Isabel. The two move to the lighthouse together to start their adorable life and adorable family.
Except they don’t.
She miscarries, twice, and shortly after the second loss, a rowboat washes ashore with a crying baby and a dead man. In her grief, she sees it as fate giving them the baby they lost, and to please his grieving wife, Tom agrees.
A couple years later, they go back to the mainland and Tom finds another grieving woman who lost her husband and baby in a freak boating accident. No bodies were ever found. No closure ever had for her. Tom tries to comfort her by sending a note that her baby is taken care of and her husband is gone, but that stirs up more problems and through a series of truly heartbreaking events, the child is eventually forced out of the arms of the only parents she’s known and into the arms of her birth mother. Tom and Isabel grow old and childless, and a week after Isabel dies, a young woman shows up at Tom’s house. It’s the daughter that was taken from them. After all those years, she remembered the few years of happiness and love she had with them when she was a child.
*cue the kind of ugly crying where tears stream down your face and make your hair stick to your neck*
It’s beautiful, but heartbreaking. Everything about it is beautiful, if you can call sorrow beautiful.
And stars Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander are too good to leave you unaffected. The story is tragic enough, but their acting makes it so personal and real.
Basically, if you want to be broken by a tragically beautiful story, watch or read The Light Between Oceans.
But only if you think you can handle it.