Will Will Be Willing To Leave Louisa ENGL 52 PLAYLIST BY SRIRAM VADLAMUDI

Character Analysis of Will Traynor from the contemporary love story Me Before You (2016)

About the film

The film Me Before You (2016) – an audio and visual adaptation of the book titled the same – revolves around two prime characters, Louisa Clarke and Will Traynor. The plot of the film primarily deals with how Louisa Clarke tries to help Will Traynor, a paralyzed man, prevent himself from suiciding and unknowingly falls in love with him. Will Will Turner also fall in love with Louisa and decide to revoke his euthanasia?

Watch the full movie to know more...

Character's Introduction

*** WARNING: Spoilers Ahead! ***

Will Traynor, a young man, goes through several emotions over 2 years when he becomes completely paralyzed after he had met with an accident when his life was perfect.

The emotions the character goes through in the film are satisfaction, depression, hatred, frustration, hope, love, sorrow and happiness.

The below playlist will contain songs and their analyses that help in showcasing different (and mostly drastic) emotions Will goes through in the film. The lyrics of the songs that make up the playlists also add significant depth to the emotions the music carries.

Added to the verbal analysis using the music, there will be several pictures and gifs in the analysis that help in showcasing the emotions Will goes through visually.

Song 1: Happy by Pharrell Williams
Context

The movie starts off with Will Traynor, the protagonist, and his girlfriend living a lavish, fun and energetic life. The first two scenes in the movie show that Will – in short – was living a happy life with everything he would have wanted. Will feels blessed that he was living the life he always wished for. This is clearly shown in the first few scenes of the film.

Song Analysis

The lyrics of the song Happy by Pharrell Williams contain the phrase “Happy” 57 times! The word continues to add depth to the calm music throughout the song. Added to this, Pharrell Williams’s funky and catchy voice makes the listeners tap their feet. The rhythm of song is very pleasing to the listener and helps one overcome one's sorrows. The chorus that sang the lyrics from 0:31 to 0:55 (below) by dragging the word Happy shows that one must continue to be happy at all times in a soothing way.

  • Because I'm happy
  • Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
  • Because I'm happy
  • Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
  • Because I'm happy
  • Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
  • Because I'm happy
  • Clap along if you feel like that's what you wanna do
Young and Happy Will
Song 2: Down With The Sickness by Disturbed
Context

Will is extremely depressed after he becomes paralyzed and loses his lower body, girlfriend and ability to work and have fun. The depression triggers his hatred towards his life and he often showed that by expressing his frustration on his parents, personal doctors and helpers. When his mom introduced Louisa Clarke, a new helper, to Will twice because Will’s mom thought he wasn’t listing, Will’s reply, “My brain is still working, mother…” shows his state of hating everyone he was around including his personal doctor. After every scene, it can be observed that Will starts getting more and more depressed until he found Louisa.

Song Analysis

*** WARNING: Explicit Content Ahead! ***

The song starts with heavy drums and electric guitars that may give the listener a high of agitation. The low pitch voices and the phrases before the main lyrics help in increasing the affect. Added to that the lyrics below from 3:13 to 3:36 show the frustration Will was in before he met Louisa. The fast beat in the song intensifies the feels the listener develops with the lyrics.

  • Get up, come on get down with the sickness [x3]
  • Open up your hate, and let it flow into me
  • Get up, come on get down with the sickness
  • You mother get up come on get down with the sickness
  • You fucker get up come on get down with the sickness
  • Madness is the gift, that has been given to me
Song 3: Mirrors by Justin Timberlake
Context

Louisa starts working as a helper due to the financial crisis her family was in. Unlike how he treated his previous helpers, Will treats Louisa differently because he enjoys staying in Louisa’s presence due to her lively and energetic nature. He finds his previous attitude in her and starts getting comfortable with Louisa and soon realizes that he loves her.

Song Analysis

The song starts off with a soothing acoustic guitar melody and continues with Justin Timberlake’s calming voice. The music, instrument selection and artist’s voice show the strong love the artist has for his / her counterpart. The song has the same melody till the end. This helps prevent the feeling of love from getting diluted. The soft melody is then followed by a mix of electric pads and fine beat boxing tunes from 00:29 to the end of the song help in emphasizing on the well written lyrics like the one below.

  • Girl you’re my reflection, all I see is you
  • My reflection, in everything I do
  • You’re my reflection and all I see is you
  • My reflection, in everything I do

The lyrics also showcase Will’s newly found love in Louisa. The line “you’re my reflection, all I see is you” repeats twice and seamlessly shows how Will found his lively and energetic nature, which he lost after the accident, in Louisa.

Song 4: Miracle of the Moment by Steven Curtis Chapman
Context

After Will started loving Louisa, he starts regretting for his previous actions like being rude to his parents and doctor, ex-girlfriend and best friend (who plan to get married after Will’s accident), etc. He starts accepting the reality and is content with his life because he found Louisa, whom he takes for his friend’s wedding and several casual dates. They also plan for a trip to Hawaii.

Song Analysis
  • It's time for letting go
  • All of our "if onlies"
  • Cause we don't have a time machine
  • And even if we did
  • Would we really want to use it
  • Would we really want to go change everything

The song starts with the lyrics shown above. The lyrics above are sung in low acoustic intensity. The intensity conveys the message that one cannot change anything once anything occurs in a polite manner. It also shows that one should not try to change something that happened because the lyrics also convey that something better in store.

30 seconds into the song, the music become buoyant and foot tapping with catchy lyrics, sung in an energetic way. The lyrics add depth to the energetic voice through subtle nuances like the one below –

  • So breathe it in and breathe it out
  • And listen to your heartbeat
  • There's a wonder in the here and now
  • It's right there in front of you

The above lines shows Will’s feelings towards Louisa with the word “wonder” and the phrase that the wonder is right in front of you adds more value to the same emotion.

Louisa and Will at Will's ex-girlfriend's wedding
Song 5: Closure by Calli Kathleen
Context

Louisa takes Will on a trip to Hawaii to make him realize the value of life while Will had been pre-occupied with the thoughts of euthanasia before he met Louisa. After they reach Hawaii, Will’s feelings towards Louisa continue to increase exponentially. However, Will does not want to continue loving her despite Louisa’s feelings towards him because he feels he will limit Louisa’s life if she stays with a paralyzed man. This makes Will politely convey his feelings of not wanting to stay with Louisa throughout his life. Will, however, starts getting emotionally attached to Louisa.

Song Analysis

The artist, Calli Kathleen continues the same pitch throughout the song in the song Closure. This makes the listener connect to the same emotion without diluting it. Added to this, the piano notes add subtle effects by increasing the emphasis on the pain the artist tries to convey in the song. The below lyrics complement the situation Will was in when he goes on a trip to Hawaii with Louisa.

  • It’s the breath I can’t take
  • It’s the words I can’t say
  • That’s escaping my lips
  • There's a wonder in the here and now
  • I can’t do this

The lyrics show that Will doesn’t want to continue his life with Louisa after he realizes that she won’t be able to fulfill her dreams if he would be around.

Louisa and Will on a beach in Hawaii

Also, the lyrics given below show that Will is happy to leave Louisa and doesn’t feel like he is being selfless, rather, he feels happy that he made sure his loved one would be happy.

  • But my words come
  • Slow and sure
  • I can’t do this anymore
  • Anymore
  • I won’t do this anymore
  • Anymore
  • I don’t need this anymore
Song 6: To Build A Home by THE CINEMATIC ORCHESTRA

*** WARNING: Huge Spoliers Ahead! ***

Context

After their trip to Hawaii, Louisa stays away from Will because she feels she couldn't prevent him from revoking his euthanasia. This makes her feel extremely guilty. To the end of the film. Will, who is an extremely critical medical condition, meets Louisa on his bed and requests her to agree to the euthanasia. Although Will's decision to die was not expected, the film ends on a happy note that Will takes up the euthanasia and gives Louisa enough money to pursue her dreams. The film ends with Louisa walking to Paris and later buying perfumes and drinking tea on the streets of Paris, few of Will's favorite things to do.

Song Analysis

The song starts on with piano notes that keep playing in the same sequence till 1:10. The constant piano tones complemented by the soft voice of the artist carries the bitter / sweet emotion successfully. The lyrics given below showcase Will's feelings towards Louisa while he was on the death bed in a crisp and meaningful manner.

  • 'Cause, I built a home
  • For you
  • For me
  • Until it disappeared
  • From me
  • From you
  • And now, it's time to leave and turn to dust

The piano notes start playing without vocals from 2:27 to 2:45 are monotonous and effectively make the listener feel the pain the artist was going through just like Will when he decided to go for the euthanasia.

Once the song reaches 5:20, the hard hitting emotions are conveyed through a tune that is melodious and helps in making the listener digest the emotion of the artist and the the protagonist of the film.

BONUS SONG

The song below perfectly summarizes the film and the character of will.

Credits:

Created with images by Moyan_Brenn - "nature" • Jan-Helge69 - "Red clouds" • Abi Skipp - "Running water" • Backpackerin - "marble cave marble cave" • clondike7 - "Water" • xuuxuu - "waterfall water river" • Artur (RUS) Potosi - "***" • roegger - "drop of water inject water" • Armyman - "Lake DeGray" • h.wahlsten - "Summer morning" • Hans Engel - "end."

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