Thursday, June 20, 2013

What We're Left With

Rust and Bone is a gut-wrenching, aching collection of poignant scenes.  Two lost souls from different worlds, Stephanie and Ali, meet in a club.  Stephanie (played brilliantly by Marion Cotillard), a whale trainer, has a horrific accident during a Seaworld-like whale show, in which she loses both her legs.  The scene in which Stephanie wakes up and finds that she is missing her legs is rattling and devastating and made me cry out.  Ali is a lower-class single father who used to be a kickboxer.  He seems fed up with life and doesn't care about anything or anyone very much. 

Marion Cotillard has become one of the strongest actresses of right now.  She handles this role with care and just with her eyes we can see Stephanie journey from being haunted to being hopeful.

Stephanie and Ali develop an unlikely bond driven by Ali's lack of notice of her disability and her pull towards his physicality and roughness.  This bond is also driven by Stephanie's desire to reach out and hold on to someone, anyone, that will make her feel like she didn't fully disappear.  They come to rely on each other as partners.  It takes one more tragic event, though, for Ali to finally understand what's important and to admit his love for Stephanie. 

Stephanie's transformation from the dark depths of despair to an unrelenting strength is both painful and astounding to watch.  Although my situation is nowhere near to Stephanie's, I felt like I was crying for her and for me.  We are finding a new way to walk and we are defined by our wounds and scars.  These characters are all damaged in their own way.  Through our breaks we become whole though, for to be human is to be (slightly) broken.

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