Movie Spotlight: My Sister's Keeper

My Sister's Keeper is a heart-warming drama movie released in 2009 and stars Cameron DiazAbigail Breslin, Sofia Vassilieva, Alec Baldwin, Jason Patric, David Thornton, Emily Deschanel, E.G. Daily, Lin Shaye and Joan Cusack.  It was directed by Nicholas David Rowland Cassavetes or better known as Nick Cassavetes.  

It has a running time of 109 minutes and was based on the 2004 novel by New Yorker Jodi Lynn Picoult.   

Caught in a Dilemma (The Gray Area)

What will you do if your own daughter is dying from leukemia? Have a test tube baby and be a supplier of bone marrow, and other vital organs, for your daughter, obviously. That is what the 2008 movie My Sister’s Keeper showed. What a dilemma indeed.

My Sister’s Keeper follows the Fitzgerald family, as each and every one of them try to cope with the worsening condition of Kate (Sofia Vassilieva). “Dilemma” is the main theme of this movie and we will get to know a little more about it.

The dictionary defines the term “dilemma” as a phenomenon in one’s life when an individual is faced with life-changing decisions that will lead to serious consequences or ramifications.
There are numerous dilemmas tackled in My Sister’s Keeper, but I will only be highlighting the most important ones. First is Sara and Brian’s (Cameron Diaz and Jason Patric, respectively) decision to let science give birth to Anna (Abigail Breslin).

Some parts of the plot revolves around Anna, revealing that she was made only to be Kate’s unwilling donor, much like how spare parts of a car are treated. The parents have to decide: to either let Kate die, or to let mad science work its magic.

At the end, the couple decided to let Anna live, and for the rest of their lives, they just let Anna get be tested on again and again. Most of the people would view this decision as unethical and heartless, but Sara, and initially Brian, saw this as just.
Another is Anna’s decision to file a lawsuit against her parents to gain “medical emancipation”, a means to be free of her duty as a donor. It is eventually revealed that this is partially to delay Kate’s treatment, for her to finally die.

Midway through the movie, while we take a break from the lawsuit plot thread, we get to see the love of Kate’s life, Taylor Ambrose (Thomas Dekker), whom she met while the latter was undergoing chemotherapy.

Upon learning that Taylor succumbed to his cancer in secret, Kate desired death. Anna is then convinced by Kate to file the lawsuit. From Sara’s perspective, this is a sign of Anna being neglectful of her duty as a sister, but Anna only wants to live normally.
Two more integral dilemmas included are Kate’s decision to finally accept her doomed fate, and Taylor’s choice to keep his eventual death a secret from Kate. These two showcased the two main characters’ developed love for each other.

What interests me the most among the two is Kate’s desire to die. Generally speaking, nobody wants to see anyone die. Kate’s wishes are to be reunited with Taylor, but is mostly her desire to finally spare her family of the prolonged grief.

Taylor keeping his demise a secret might be cliched, but it is just similar to Kate, as they both do not wish their respective loved ones to mourn for them. Either decision is originally viewed negatively by various characters.
What do these all mean? Basically, the world is neither purely black nor white. It has gray areas. A decision can look bad, but be good in nature, and vise versa. Dilemmas teach us that no decisions will not merit “perfect” positive nor negative outcomes.


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