Wednesday, 5 October 2011


Going to see 50/50 I didn't know what to expect.  Would they "hollywood" the cancer experience?  Would they make it a traumatic experience?  There was a lot of old emotions and thoughts stirred with watching the character "Adam" experiencing the life of cancer as a young adult.  One thing I got really picky on was that he kept his eyebrows through out his treatment.  I know we don't all loose our hair, but it seemed to be that they were conveying that he did.. but kept his eyebrows magically.

The feelings of not knowing how to express what you're feeling inside and the frustration that engulfs you is completely true.  One sentence in the movie is the one sentence you will repeat over and over and over again, I just want it to be finished.  You want to be able to continue with your life.  You want to be independent like before, you want to be free of appointments, treatments, checkups, medications...  You want to be a regular young adult for one more day at least.

One thing that I could not relate with was the rapidity that Adam seemed to gain his self image after surgery.  My hair is still short and wild, my chest is vacant one breast, and my calendar keeps filling with doctor appointments.  I look in the mirror and I don't see Julie, I still see some lion-esk monster with a very lopsided chest.  I'm there somewhere, I think... well I am as long as I do not look in the mirror...

Scene that I most related to was when Adam was waiting for his girlfriend to pick him up after chemo.  You have the camera pan out after he assures his new "chemo buddies" he'll be fine and all you see is Adam, alone, hiding everything inside him.  You feel the need to be strong and don't want to show "weakness" aka emotions like sadness and anger.  I was him, standing there looking at the people that you reassure as you feel like you are the only person around for miles.  As Adam later battles the steering wheel and the moment in the hospital before the surgery are other relatable moments, as well.

It was a good movie.  I don't know if someone that has not been touched by the decease can fully appreciate it but they can get a glimpse into their friends/families experience.  If you have someone that went through this, it'd be a good one to take them to see.  But be prepared for them to cry, show frustration, and even hold their breath at moments that they have trigger their past.  And not everyone is up to reliving those experiences right away.  Don't pressure anyone to see it, it is very hard to take at moments, being a survivor.

Overall not a bad movie, good acting, I just think they could have delved a bit more into what it's like to be the only young person going to treatment and oncologist appointments, and the question of fertility after treatment.  It hints at isolation, but it's like a car driving by at night, you get the flash of their headlights for a moment, but just as quick as it fills the room with its presence it's gone.  Unfortunately, with being a young adult going through cancer, isolation is not that fleeting.

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