Click her to see what I wrote about the book when I read that.
The other night my daughter brought this movie home for us to watch. I had wanted to watch it since it came out. Needless to say that 9 11 has been an important happening in our lives. To have a movie that attempted to tackle that from a young boys perpective really got my interest.
The movie did an excellent job in my opinion in showing the grief of a young boy for his father's death in that disaster. The boy has aspergers syndrome so you shouldn't expect him to act exactly like your average boy in his grief nor in his daily life. I felt like the movie did an excellent job of showing this throughout the movie.
Similar to the book the movie did an excellent job of showing how the father played by Tom Hanks was a perfect father for him, engaging his son and showing his son how much he was loved despite or maybe because of his peculiarities. That is what really impressed me with the book was the relationship between father and son. The father turns out to be an excellent model of how we must accept our child where they are and provide the love and security that wll allow them to flourish. The father in this movie was trying to help his son learn how to interact with others (a typical weakness had by those with asperger's syndrom) and in that way stretch his son beyond his bounds.
The book contrasted this good father (Tom Hanks) with the grandfather who had not been presnt in the fathe's life. Much of that was absent from the movie and all the things I found objectonable in the book were left out as well making the movie more powerful in the showing the relationship between the father and the son who are the central characters (this despite the fact that the father is shown in flashbacks).
The movie however flipped this lesson on it's head and did an excellent job by showing something else better than the book managed. While the whole book and movie seem to be about that father son relationship, the end of the movie lets us see something tha we missed or didn't see clearly throughout the show, that is the mother's relationship to the son and how integral it is. Sandra Bullock does a good job of acting the part of the mother who is left out of their child's life.
Toward the end of the movie the son says to the mother: "I ddn't know you could think like me." and she responds that she didn't know that either. With that enlightening moment we are able to see some of the things differently throughout the movie. Yes, the boy has lost a perfect father for him, but because of that loss we are now able to see that the mother can become that perfect parent for him too, and that is a revelation to both of the characters in the movie and maybe to the viewers as well. This movie starts out being about the father-son relationship but ends up spotlighting the mother-son relationship. It is a movie for both parents, a movie where both can feel valued and see their potential even with the exceptional child portrayed in the movie.
I probably will not read the book again but I would watch the movie again and I would consider reading another book by the author. By the way, be prepared to shed a tear at this movie.
Watch the trailer below.
The sound track is exceptional as well an is done by Alexandre Desplat