Chloe Grace Moretz in a still from movie If I Stay. Photo by Doane Gregory. Chloe Grace Moretz stars in If I Stay.
THERE’S hardly a more reliable or bankable target market than that of the teenage girl; One Direction, 5 Seconds of Summer, and Twilight are all testaments to this.
If I Stay is created with that audience clearly in mind, but there’s plenty of room for their mums to enjoy it, too.
The film follows Mia Hall (young force to be reckoned with Chloe Grace Moretz of Carrie), a gifted 17-year-old cellist with punk rocker parents.
Mia’s opening voice-over tells of her great love for Ludwig van Beethoven, the classic concert pianist who, upon losing his hearing at the height of his career, chose not to give in and despair, but to make the most of his situation and become a composer.
This theme of conscious choice runs throughout the film, and colours every decision Mia makes.
A fatal car accident on a wintry road leaves Mia and her brother Teddy sudden orphans as they desperately cling to life in hospital.
Mia’s disembodied self runs ghost-like through the hospital, unravelling as her physical self lies comatose.
She must decide whether to fight and stay alive in a life she no longer recognises, or let go and move on.
Her voice-over drives the film, jumping back and forth from memories passionate and painful to the precarious present time.
It is in these memories that we learn of Adam (Jamie Blackley, Snow White and the Huntsman), Mia’s other great love.
A romance sure to capture the hearts and minds of girls the world over, Mia and Adam’s story unites rocker and classical musician, the worldly and the naive, extrovert and recluse.
Their shared love of music and its transformative nature is strongly portrayed, and it’s hard not to become immersed as the beautiful cello soundtrack encapsulates every emotion.
A fireside Smashing Pumpkins jam with Adam, Mia and her family is one of the highlights of If I Stay, a perfect moment contrasted with the horror of fading life in hospital.
A scene with Mia’s grandfather by her hospital bedside requires tissues and is heartbreaking.
If I Stay is thought-provoking and powerful, begging the question: could you fight on if everything you had ever known was suddenly taken away?
Mia herself says it best: “How am I supposed to find the strength to stay . . . but how can I go?”
If I Stay is screening now at Hoyts Wetherill Park [Stockland Shopping Centre precinct] and is rated M.
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