Monday, August 16, 2010

Remember Me Discussion Group

Both Tyler and Ally have issues with their fathers. Who has the stronger relationship? How do the fathers react differently to grief and how does that affect their relationship?


WhyIstheRumAlwaysGone said...

Ally seems to have stronger bonds of love and affection with her father, even though she frets because he won't let her as much freedom as she would like. But even if her father is over-protective because of his wife's tragic death, he's just like any normal father with his daughter.
Tyler's relationship with his father is very different as it's not determined by the issue of his independence. He has a job and a flat and he seems to be doing pretty much what he likes, his father does not interfere with his career - or lack of it. The conflict between the two is decidedly masculine - it's more like a perpetual, direct hostile and sometimes physical confrontation. Which doesn't mean that deep down, Tyler doesn't love his father - he does, but he 's just too conflicted at the time we meet him to be able to include that in his relationship. He needs to solve the grief of his brother's death first and the feeling that his father is guilty of Michael's death. I guess Tyler uses his father as a punching-ball and an outlet for his own rage, because no other member of the family could play this part.
Charles seems to try and avert his own grief by burying himself in his work. I guess Neil does that too, with the difference that his job deals with violence and murder, and that he is constantly confronted with people who have the same profile as his wife's murderers, - this can make you understand why he's so prone to these bouts of violence, and drinking. The difference between the two men is that Charles has cut himself off from his family, particularly from Caroline, while Neil is extremely close to Ally - probably too much.

LTavares2010 said...

Since the first time I saw them together in the film: Neil and Ally. The way he looks at his murdered wife and the way he and his daughter embrace and leave the scene is heartbreaking. From that moment father and daughter are united by grief and they create a strong link that will survive everything and everyone. The look of Neil says it all: his life is Ally.
Neil and Charles have different manners of handling with grief because their histories of life are very different too. Charles is lawyer, he lives in a high social standard. Like Neil, he is suffering because he lost one of his sons but as a traditional man he pretends to be strong and he thinks he does not need to be a present father in the lives of them because they still have their mother but his mistake is to think that both his children will understand his absence. He is mistaken. Neil is a cop, of course he is simple, a traditional man and he lost his wife tragically, the mother of his only child, so, his reaction is a bit different of Charles because his daughter only can count on him, there is nobody else. He is the father and mother of Ally. Charles handles with the grief, working a lot, keeping distance of the lives of Tyler and Caroline and trying not to think in Michael. Neil handles with the grief a bit different, he takes care of Ally a lot, he is always concerned about her and he drinks. For me, he is almost as fragile and sensitive as Tyler.

jessegirl said...

I'm coming in a little late.
You've both made really good comments.
I'm not sure if I agree, LTavares, that Charles is a traditional man and "does not need to be a present father in the lives of them because they still have their mother". Because remember the screen saver photos? And others? I think Charles played an active role in the lives of his kids before Michael's death and I do think part of Tyler's problem with Charles is the before-and-after. Tyler, as a son, knows the difference between how Charles related before Michael's death and after it. He doesn't, even at 21, understand Charles' agony and why he might choose that route of grief.

"The difference between the two men is that Charles has cut himself off from his family, particularly from Caroline, while Neil is extremely close to Ally - probably too much." Yes, Rum, I think so too. Now this might be partly because Neil has lost a wife and Charles a child. Both are devastating losses but cause one to react differently. Ally is all Neil has left and they need each other terribly, probably both want each other's support, and form a symbiotic relationship, but, at 21, Ally needs to break away and establish her independence but doesn't know how to do that without hurting her father,so she's in a quandry. What will he do without her? That causes him to be disparaging about her dates ('he's a real prince'). He wonders what he'll do without her.
Charles, on the other hand, is so afraid of his remaining children on every level. He is terrified something will happen to them and that he'll be powerless to stop it; and that's right, because Tyler dies. And I think Charles is afraid of becoming too involved in his kids lives because love hurts like hell if you really engage in the other, have quality time with them, and then they are taken away. Charles is terrified and paralyzed. Poor man. And just as he begins to re-engage Tyler, he loses him. Terrible pain.

Both men feel guilty for not protecting their loved ones and I think Neil can't get past the anger stage of grief; in his line of work that would be hard. Chris Cooper did a fantastic job in that opening scene. Just with his face, his eyes. Both actors were excellent.

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