After months of pulling all-nighters and spending my days trapped inside the four walls of my house, my A Levels had finally come to an end, and one of the joys of that came with it was the one derived from binge watching movies I had been longing to watch since March. My days were no longer spent learning contractual laws, or the Raphson-Newton method for numerical analysis.
One sweltering Ramadan night, my loneliness had dragged me to turn on my laptop and switch on the (relatively) newly released Justin Baldoni movie starring Cole Sprouse and Haley Lu Richardson, Five Feet Apart. At first glance, the movie seems like a sadder knock-off of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, but as the story emerges, the audience learns to realise that it’s anything but.
The movie tells the tale of two hospitalised 17-year-olds, Stella Grant and Will Newman, with cystic fibrosis (CF) that fall hopelessly in love with each other. Will is at the hospital for a medication trial in order to get rid of a bacterial infection he has in his lungs. The rule for CF patients dictate that they should stay at least six feet apart from each other because of the dangers of cross-infection that may arise, potentially leading to death. The twist in the story is introduced when one of the pair born with a death sentence decide to “take back” something in return for everything CF has taken from them: one foot, just to be a bit closer to one another as the romance starts to develop in full bloom; hence the name – Five Feet Apart.
The sentimental story not only depicts the tale of two star-struck teenagers, but also showcases the everyday life of a CF patient living only to see the corners of the hospital, the strict regimen that they must adhere to, and the battle that they have to fight just to wake up breathing the next day. The film is eminent in its execution and a feast for the hopeless romantics, while being moving, bittersweet and a real tearjerker (seriously, I cried like a baby, three times).
Out of his usual Southside Serpent role, Cole Sprouse’s signature smile, the gorgeous Haley Lu, the city lights, and Moisés Arias as Poe all make a movie that will have you bawling your eyes out by the end of it. Of course, no sad movie is complete without a sappy M83 song playing in the background, but the soundtrack to the movie remains one that is unmatched. As is predictable with movies of this genre, the movie has its fair share of sad scenes, but not ones that the audience imminently expect. The movie has its share of twists, turns, and unexpected events, but leaves the audience with a pondering sense of wholesomeness in their hearts by the end of it.