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Whose Life Is It Anyway? (1981) (Movies To See Before You Die - Drama)

23 Aug, 2012 | Movies To See Before You Die / Drama

There have been many movies made on the concluding trauma felt by ‘A majorly Paralyzed or a Dying character’ and his right to die i.e. Euthanasia. Many might recall Kurosawa’s IKIRU or Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s ANAND, Alejandro Amenabar’s THE SEA INSIDE, Julian Schnabel’s THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY or even Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s inspired GUZAARISH while thinking about the subject. The thoughts are pretty obvious as the theme has been admittedly repeated several times on the screen and that’s what I also had in mind before watching this immensely pleasant surprise.

While reading the synopsis, honestly I didn’t really feel any excitement and never felt like watching it before my attention was drawn by its two taglines which simply didn’t match with its story plot. And they said, “The Ultimate Drama in the Human Comedy” and “You’ll have a lot of laughs……before you cry.” Thankfully these two sentences made me watch this treasured timeless classic, which I would love to include among the top 3 movies made on the subject executed with an amazing smartness and extremely intelligent humor.
WHOSE LIFE IS IT ANYWAY? released in 1981, was adapted from a 1972 television film and play of the same title. It’s about a talented sculptor who after a serious car accident gets paralyzed from his neck. Now all he can do it simply talk and nothing else lying on a bed or a wheel chair. The artist in his mind is still alive but the magic in his hands is no more there to win over the hearts. With the each passing day, he is getting fed up with his own art, creative thoughts or intelligence and just wants to die. So while he requests ‘A self demanded death sentence’ from the Law and faces a Trial, the man is loved and taken care of by the entire hospital staff including the nurses, ward boys, attendants and the doctors.

Its a precious life teaching and spell binding film which can easily become the reason for a pleasant change in your thinking patterns about The LIFE itself. Lovingly enacted by Richard Dreyfuss, the character of Ken Harrison in the film, gifts the viewer many valuable lessons of life with his each new one liner written brilliantly. Reportedly made in both Black & White and Colour (out of which the colour version was released finally), it’s an extraordinary account of the last days of an artist who is just ‘Happy To Die”. Therefore it rightly deserves to be seen by all creative or thinking minds as a must.
But in case, you still are not sure about watching it, taking it as another dark and sad movie, then let me enlighten you that the film has got much more enjoyable and entertaining moments than the sad ones, which never allow you to feel low or depressed in its entire 120 minutes of duration. Moreover for the friends who really liked Hrithik Roshan’s spirited act in GUZAARISH, this is the film from where director, Sanjay Leela Bhansali borrowed the major content and characterization for his own version talking about Euthanasia. But the inspired product is not even remotely close to this splendid masterpiece. So watch it at the earliest as the film rightly makes you think that Whose Life Is It Anyway?
Directed by John Badham
Starring : Richard Dreyfuss, John Cassaetes and Christine Lahti

Tags : Whose Life Is It Anyway (1981), Movies To See Before You Die Drama, Must See Movies List by Bobby Sing, Movies on Euthanasia, Movies on Dying Characters, Euthanasia Trials in Court, Not To Be Missed Movies List at bobbytalkscinema.com
23 Aug 2012 / Comment ( 2 )

Superb movie. Very witty one liners.
Thanks Bobby for showing this hidden gem.

Bobby Sing

The pleasure is all mine Abhay and there are lot more worthe watching gems to share too.
So keep visiting.

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