So! Me and Earl and the Dying Girl…
Well, what would I say about this movie besides that it was the best teenage movie that I’ve watched so far. Well, I may not have watched many from that category but yes, this movie had a heart. You’d fail to understand when you’ve started enjoying the silly jokes of Greg and your sympathy for him might just have silently turned into empathy and liking as he has just gone to embody the unreasonable, irrational craziness in you. You might just realise that he was not making bad imitation films, he was only giving uninhibited vent to the furtive, unspoken desires of every movie-lover. A misfit, self-exiled outcast, it was only inevitable that he found a fitting soul mate in the dying Rachel. (In Olivia Cooke, I have found mine too, but that will require a separate mention.)
In their first visit, in Rachel’s room, she simply uses her silent stares to absorb Greg’s infinitely stupid antics and finds in him an amicable companion. Greg, too understands in silence that he has been understood. You’d find yourself equidistant between the two, enjoying and celebrating the movie, while wishing to have a relationship like this, of your own. They never quite become romantic, there never quite appears the inevitable puberty-fuelled kiss, and yet they love each other and value each other in a way only they could. The space that the movie leaves you in, wondering whether you’ve watched a story about two friends or a disguised love-story is the space the film owns, and proudly claims to be its own.
In many ways, the film reminds you of the more popular “The Fault in our Stars” and it is in all those ways, it also understates, what more it has achieved, which begins with you wishing yourself dead before Rachel and ends in instilling in you, memories, of the frames you loved with the people who loved you. The end speaks of all the ways in which a life can defeat the apathetic Time, sending you new meanings, new windows, if only you’ve loved them enough to be paying attention.
In ways more than it mocks sentimental squishy love, it will have successfully spun a spell over you, from celebrating the rawness of the craft of making movies to implanting deathless seeds of love and friendship. Simple words, simpler rendition, yet clinging faithful to originality, this piece of cinema will carve its niche in a heart willing to love, willing to be different. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl sure doesn’t die easy.