Movie Review – My Sister’s Keeper

My Sister’s Keeper – A Struggle of Love and Life…

As the saying goes caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, the protagonist in this movie faces the same avoidance – avoidance conflicts. A subject like euthanasia where so much is said about the pros and cons of it and some major loopholes in the laws granting the same, my sister’s keeper is a total eye -opener. The movie released on  June 26, 2009, directed by Hollywood director Nick Cassavetes, is a book adaptation of a novel written by the New York’s best-selling author Jodi Picoult.

The movie begins with a 13 year old girl Anna  (Abigail Breslin) telling how unfortunate she was to be born as her birth was not at all intentional. Anna’s parents decide to give birth to another child somewhat against their wish. It is when their first born daughter and Anna’s elder sister Kate (Sofia Vassilieva), suffers from blood cancer or leukemia what the doctor’s call it. Anna is thus a hope for her parents who have the only option to use the umbilical cord after birth for Kate’s treatment and apparently the only ray of hope. The giving thus starts from birth and till Anna is 13 she has given her tissues, stem cells, has suffered great losses due to the bone marrow transplant and there is no stopping.

Kate’s health is nothing but deteriorating and Anna as she grows up realizes that all her ailing sister wants is to die a peaceful death without those syringes, pipes, and ventilators and a hundred surgeries. Anna becomes furious and gets into legal action (MEDICAL EMANCIPATION) when she knows that she has to donate one of her kidneys to her sister. This is when she realizes that she may not be able to live the life she leads – she may be unable to cheer-lead, play soccer or conceive a child and thus goes to a renowned lawyer Campbell Alexander (Alec Baldwin).

Now how she knows so much about the laws and the lawyer being merely 13 is something that we as an audience wonder. Anna’s brother Jesse and Campbell help her fight with her own mother Sara (Cameron Diaz) who is an ex-lawyer. However, it is kind of hard to believe how a mother can love one daughter over the other and see her 13 year old crying in pain just to make 1%of her cancer suffering daughter better.

The technical aspects of the movie are quite convincing with the way Anna narrates each of the incidences. On one side is the teen life of Jesse (Evan Ellingson) who is totally taken for granted and ignored by his parents and the other is Anna and her sister Kate who both want to get rid of the same thing -the continuous struggle and the butchering that happens to them. What gives this movie a sweet romantic touch is Kate’s leukemic boyfriend Taylor (Thomas Dekker) and their beautiful relationship which then has to end due to Taylor’s death. During the trial, it is revealed that Kate asked Anna to sue her parents for emancipation because she did not want Anna to have to transplant, and because she believed that she would die anyway. The long postponed moment however has to come and Kate is granted permission for euthanasia and is given death as a gift rather than inflicting such humungous pain. All in all effortlessly delivered dialogues, superb chemistry between the siblings and their awesome fun loving father and Kate’s journey from darkness to light and back to darkness is highly appealing. My Sister’s Keeper is like a life lesson teaching compromiselove,and understanding the value of this precious life god had given…

Ankita Bhatkhande

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