I’m going to write a reaction paper on the movie Wit that I have watched recently. The main goals of my paper are to discuss this film with some details and express my own opinion about this film.
First of all it is necessary to say that Wit is an American television movie directed by Mike Nichols in 2001. This movie by Mike Nichols and Emma Thomson was based on the play of the same title Wit written by Margaret Edson.
It is necessary to know that this play Wit by Margared Edson won Pulitzer Prize in 1998 and its screen version attracted a broad audience too.
Beginning to discuss the movie we should say that the main heroine is 48-year-old Vivian Bearing who was diagnosed with metastatic Stage IV ovarian cancer. Vivian Bearing was the well-known professor of English literature and the sphere of her interest was connected with the Holly Sonnets of John Donne, as a part of metaphysic poetry. Thus, a professor who taught students became the subject of inquiry, because she was prescribed to have full doses of various chemotherapy treatments to treat her insidious disease.
Thinking about the story we see that it periodically flashes back to previous meaningful moments in Vivian’s life, including her early childhood, her university years, her career steps, lections and other situations prior to her cancer diagnosis. On my opinion this film has interesting structure, because Vivian is looking into the camera in many moments and describes her feelings and thoughts about this situation and her previous life. She feels herself the subject of inquiry, because nobody needs her personality, her previous merits, her degree, her mind and thoughts.
She is only one patient among others, but a special patient with hard diagnosis, a person who is interesting for doctors due to the possibility to test new kind of treatment, hard and severe full dose treatment and look at the result. The problem is in fact that the state of Vivian was bad and she agreed to undergo more tests, more experimental treatment and more severe pain without pain killer drugs. We see Vivian’s sufferings and absence of friends and family; it was really hard to see that the only person who takes care for her was one of the nurses on the staff – Susie Monahan.
Frankly speaking I was greatly impressed by this film and understood many important things for myself. The first thing is family and communication, because Vivian was thinking about communication a lot and choose between career, I mean science, and simple human communication. The next thing is suffering, because Vivian tells her own story about her sufferings in a narrative monologue style. She explained that she learned to suffer for these long 8 months of treatment and time dimension killing her as much as her disease. The third thing is humanity. I would like to talk about this moment with more details, because it greatly impacted me and I have what to say about this question.
We see from the one side white walls of the special clinic where work professionals and well-qualified doctors, but from the other side we see absence of attention to patients only in the frames of university course, only words, but no emotions and absence of so necessary sympathy. Humanity is a problematic question in this situation, because doctors were trying to help their patients, and Vivian was among them, but she was not like a person with her own world, but only an experimental sample for tests, a piece of white paper for taking notes and studying her “interesting” disease.
Treatment seemed like the link in the chain of events for doctors and nothing else, but Vivian like any person wanted human attitude and good words from the heart, but not in the frames of university course of care about patients. The study and research of her disease instead humanity gives her an understanding that in her activities, she rejected own students instead of human warmth and normal human attitude to them. She liked her subject and science, but she had strict rules and forgot about people, their feelings and ordinary problems. One time a student asked for additional time in her subject exam, because his grandmother has dead, but she said that it is his problem and he should make a choice. Thus, these remembrances and regret about her toughness and academician status make her suffer, because she forgot about people, about their feelings and maybe sufferings.
The next point is experiment on the way of struggle against cancer. It was well-known from the whole beginning that the patient (Vivian) was terminally ill and her doctor need to test experimental treatment with her help. Here we also see the above stated dilemma between humanity and scientific character. Vivian Bearing received full dose aggressive treatment and suffer from it, one time when she was suffering it was possible to make the treatment less aggressive, but doctor decided to continue an experiment and was looking for own scientific result in it. It is obvious that life and death found their real forms and discontinued to be only abstract notions, without borders and real content. The certain person received the past life and future rather near death in own hands… what to think? What to do? How to stay alive? Many questions and no answers, only memories and poems…
Thus, taking into consideration the above stated discussion I want to say that Wit is a kind of very powerful drama and the main lesson from it was the lesson of kindness for me. I think that every person should remember that there should be the place for sympathy and the time for kindness in everyday life. At the end of the film we see that Vivian was thinking for the whole her life that it is necessary to be wise, but it is necessary to be simply kind.
It is not a feel-good kind of film, and it fills my heart with feelings, thoughts and emotions. I strongly believe that the issue it addresses is very important for any person and the excellence with which it is told to the audience makes the story timeless and breathtaking.