I have a confession to make; the first time to watch this masterpiece was last week 😵… 13 years from its date of production and 12 since it won 4 academy awards: Best picture, Best Director, Best Actress in a leading role, Best Actor in a supporting role.
Being the movie geek I am, I don’t read about movies I want to watch, thus I never knew the plot and always thought its just a fancy boxing movie hence created by Clint Eastwood and starring Morgan Freeman.
It was a shock when Maggie was left ventilator-dependent quadriplegic. A very strong and determined character was introduced throughout the movie and there she is lying helpless. Every second afterwards I was waiting for the miracle to happen. I was waiting for Frankie to find her a doctor who can heal her. I was waiting for her persistence and strength to help her overcome the situation. Until Euthanasia was put on the table.
The movie is a real masterpiece, and the plot twist is superb… and after all this years I am in no place to discuss the greatness Clint Eastwood created though I have to praise the Cinematography and the BRILLIANT Morgan Freeman as “Scrap iron” and as the narrator of the movie. The one thing i couldn’t stop thinking about since the movie ended: Why did Frankie submit to Maggie’s request from him to “help her die” ?
Euthanasia is the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering. It is highly debated legally and religiously. Those who are against euthanasia may argue for the sanctity of life, while proponents of euthanasia rights emphasize alleviating suffering, and preserving bodily integrity. Personally, it confuses me, I have seen parents refusing the removal of ventilators for years sufferings to see their children in induced coma, and the miracle happens and they get their lives back and others die or wake up with incurable brain damage which increases the experience of pain for everyone. Also I do believe in God’s plans. God puts us through different experiences, whether good or bad, to teach us something about ourselves.
Maggie was given a chance to achieve what she dreamt of, she became a tough fighter, she made good money after a hard life. This accident was a turn in her life, from strength and fame to weakness and fragility. She might be desperate at one point not finding support from her own mother and siblings is very depressing and will push her to think about terminating her life. However, she is tough, she could have found peace somewhere inside herself with some support from Frankie, her coach. There are many handicapped people around the world that achieve much more than people in complete shape, the Paralympics for instance involves many of those and Stephen Hawking is another example. Even though she surrendered and asked Frankie to help her die!
I kept thinking; why did he do it? it took me sometime to reach this conclusion during which i watched the last part of the movie twice, Frankie terminated Maggie’s life because of guilt; guilt that chased him through his life…guilt that stopped him from talking to his own daughter for years…guilt that he felt towards his friend scrap iron…guilt that he felt about training Maggie in the first place.
Frankie killed Maggie out of guilt not compassion, which make this a murder not a mercy killing case!
What do you think ??
Million Dollar Baby (2004) PG-13
Director: Clint Eastwood
Writers: Paul Haggis (screenplay), F.X. Toole (stories)
Staring: Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman
Director of Photography: Tom Stern
Editing: Joel Cox
Music by Clint Eastwood
Produced by: Warner Bros., Lakeshore Entertainment
Runtime: 132 mins