Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Remember Me Discussion Group

Who do you think is the strongest character in RM? I mean, inwardly, not physically. Give some instances of how the movie illustrates the strength of the character you've chosen.


InstantKarmaGirl said...

The strongest character, to me, is hands down, Les.

He is the silent keeper of these people's pain. He is the outsider who never knew Michael and yet he accepts the burden of grief.

He doesn't chastise Charles in the sweet shoppe. He is greeted in a kind way by Tyler. He brings Caroline and Tyler tea while very carefully describing the hair incident on the phone to someone. His words are calm, but you can hear that he is upset with it.

And in the end, that scene at the graveyard? Diane reaches for Charles hand, and Les takes a step back.

He is allowing this broken family the space they need to heal and the closeness to each other that they need to achieve that.

THAT is a strong character and he says so little in the film. I have thought this since the first time I watched the movie, but hands down, Les is the strongest of them all. He chooses to be there. He chooses to love them. He chooses to support them.

When I think of Les, tears instantly form in my eyes.

soozy said...

I totally agree. His love for his 'accepted' family is not tainted by pride or ego. He understands where he fits in and what his role must be to each of them; he understands what they need and gives it freely. In many ways, I think he understands their needs more than they do and steps in to be the rock...the sure thing.

He respects them and earns their respect in return. Les is a fine man...

WhyIstheRumAlwaysGone said...

To me, it's Ally. She's tiny and she looks physically almost fragile, but she's tough. She wnated to play for the Mets when she was a little girl, she has chosen a diffcult career in criminal justice. She does not hesitate to deflect Tyler's attempts at kissing her even though she's clearly attracted to him. She's not afraid to criticize him sharply on their second date and you have to be quite self-confident to empty a pot of cold spaghetti water on a guy's head because you're angry... She's got strength and self-respect as a woman. She expresses herself clearly and with confidence in class at the NYU. She's not afraid to oppose Tyler when he wants to go and see his father after he missed the art show: she almost physically fights him, and she bangs the door after him. She takes the decision to oppose her father and to leave her home.
When everything is over, the film ends with her, with this beautiful close-up on her bittersweet smile, as she sits in the train. Ally has completed her journey, overcome the traumatism of her mother's attack by the muggers, and she is moving on. She's remembering Tyler, she will never forget him, and she will always love him, but you can clearly imagine that she will move on, meet someone some day, fall in love, and have a family and a career. She goes on her journey, sadder with the experience of the tragedy, but she's not broken. She will go on.

jessegirl said...

First, Les.
You've all made wonderful points about him but: 1)we really don't see enough of him to see what his own weaknesses might be, his own problems;
2)he is not one of those--like the Hawkins' and the Craig families--who has this heavy grief and guilt hanging over his head. Yes, he has to deal with the ones who are grieving, but that's not the same order of circumstance which would test one's inner strength as much the actual loss of a son, brother, mother, in such violent ways.

I'm with Rum on this one. Ally is definitely the strongest. Rum has nicely given many reasons too (thx*). She's savvy on how to deal with cabbies, on how to be diplomatic in the Oak Room. She knows how to relate to Diane and Caroline so that she'll become one of the inner circle. Thank god she won't put up with any crap from Tyler, or her own Dad. But she also has the inner compassion and love to forgive Tyler without being given much time (about a week). She's the one who could have made it work with Tyler, so that he could become the man he was meant to be.

All of that said, Tyler, the one we always see writing in the journal, the one who gives his inner life so much attention because he knows instinctively that it is necessary before he can proceed with life, Tyler is also very strong. We see so many of his vulnerabilities, his dissatisfaction with himself, his pain, that we forget how much he has overcome by the time he ends his journey. We are always shown his soul and his frustrated conflicts; he does try so hard, but because we see so much of his difficulties, because the focus is on him, we forget his strengths. I think he's the second strongest one.

LTavares2010 said...

It is Ally. She is a strong woman, she reinvented her life after witnessing the death of his mother and showed that she is owner of a strong personality. The fact of being a child when the tragedy happened and to have a good relationship with his father must have been key factors to not cause almost any trauma on Ally (I can only imagine her trauma in relation to the subway, I still do not know if it is really hers or of Sgt Craig, and the apparent lack of social life).
The scene of the dessert in the restaurant is very interesting, it is a metaphor for the her philosophy of life. Ally thinks that death can happen at any moment, so, the most important thing to do is to enjoy the good things of life, live in the moment. Another scene pretty significative is, again in a restaurant, when she came for dinner with Tyler and now with Charles, too. She is very intuitive, realizes the tension between the two men and instead of getting nervous, embarrassed, she can handle the situation, talking about banalities and in minutes Tyler and Charles are talking with one another, even for a short time. After the fight scene between Tyler and Charles in his office, when Tyler comes home almost mad with rage, Ally is controlled enough to handle with him, calming him, making loving with him.
Ally, like Caroline and in a certain way Aidan, is never indulgent with Tyler. She is never indulgent with her father too. If Ally thinks they are wrong, she tells them they are, she is incapable to avoid the problems and she does not expect more than people may be.
Only to conclude, I want to say that if the scenes above are not enough proof of the huge strenght of Ally there is a scene that for my exclusive delight I would like to mention: After the scene of the dessert, the scene at the Fair, in the end of the night when Tyler very subtly leaves open the possibility of a kiss and something more and even so Ally bravely bids farewell and leaves at the taxi as well, if this does not prove that she is the strongest character of the film ... honestly, I would not resist.

WhyIstheRumAlwaysGone said...

LTavares, " in the end of the night when Tyler very subtly leaves open the possibility of a kiss and something more and even so Ally bravely bids farewell and leaves at the taxi as well, if this does not prove that she is the strongest character of the film ... honestly, I would not resist". You are so right and you make me smile - as a woman it would be awfully diffiuclt to resist. Wow , between you and @jessegirl, I find there's so much to say about Ally, even more than I had thought. She's such a wonderful character, the perfect counterpoint for Tyler. Thanks for your all your insights!

LTavares2010 said...


Thank you. I love Ally. Emilie did a great job in building a character so brave, human, natural, significative. Her look, at the end of the film, is a mixture of gentleness and hope, as if she were saying: Worth living! as a tribute to all those that we love and they will always continue living within us.

Jen said...

Ally is the strongest character in this movie as she has overcome the murder of her Mother as a young girl as she watched the thugs get away with it and the only thing she won‘t do is ride the train. She is secretly making plans to move out of her Father’s home and find a roommate in the city . She informs her Father often that he should know after all he’s a cop. Giving him the Power to think that he is always right.

She is determined to get her education and literally blows Tyler off till he informs her he is not sure about anything. She runs the show on their first date by ordering dessert, wanting the Panda and confessing she lied to him to get rid of him. She says no to a kiss then pursues it.

She goes back to his place after Aiden helped get her drunk and slapped by her Father. Makes friends with his family and Of course Aiden. She fits comfortably in Diane and Les’s surroundings as well as having dinner with Charles. She comforts Tyler when his Father once again has hurt Caroline and doesn’t listen to him when he confronts him about it.

I think going to Diane’s after Caroline’s hair was cut and sitting with Tyler…Forgiving him for what he did showed not only strength but the love she had for him. Of course getting on the train after his death showed us she was facing all her demons and was going forth without holding back and she was going to live her life to the fullest.

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