Thursday, July 10, 2014

Edge of Heartache

There's a movie that came out that very few people saw.  It under performed at the box office despite having Tom Cruise attached to it and being a smart science fiction flick.  Edge of Tomorrow is set in the not so distant future where aliens called mimics attack.  The different countries have come together to fight the menace by forming the United Defense Force (UDF).  Cruise plays a glorified recruiter, Bill Cage, from the U.S. Army but sending recruits to the UDF.  He's flawed, unlikable, and has never seen combat.

The acting general for the UDF, General Brigham, puts Bill Cage on the front lines to be filmed to help boost moral and recruits.  When Cage tries to blackmail General Brigham he is arrested and put on the front lines anyway and labelled a deserter.  Cage finds himself with military equipment he doesn't know how to use and finding new comrades quickly being killed off by the mimics.  Through sheer luck and cowardice he survives long enough to come face to face with a mimic that is different.  One claymore exploding second later, the special mimic has exploded and has mixed blood with the dying Bill Cage.

Then Cage dies only to wake up the previous day.

That's right, he wakes up yesterday.  Like clockwork, everything happens all over again except Cage remembers everything from the previous day.  It's kind of like groundhog's day except with aliens and warfare.  Cage meets the celebrated soldier Rita Vrataski to find out that she experienced the exact same scenario but lost the power.  Cage and Rita work together to use his unique ability to bring an end to the alien invasion.  Two characters that work so closely together will be vulnerable and prone to fall in love.  Well, for one of them to fall in love anyway.  Rita clearly feels something for Cage but she doesn't remember anything the next day when he dies but he does.

That's what fascinated me about the story.  When Bill Cage first meets Rita he doesn't hold much of an interest for her.  When he saves her life in battle she tells him to find her when she wakes up.  They both die and the day repeats.  He finds her and she trains him.  Does he fall for her now?  Not necessarily.  If anything, he becomes extremely irritated and annoyed by her.

But he does fall for her.  And throughout combat and the days rewinding and then playing again he starts to ache when she dies over and over again.  It doesn't matter that he's going to see her the next day, it still hurts.  It hurts that his love is more developed than her love (if there's any even there).  In a conversation with Rita she talks about a former friend (possibly lover?) that she had to see die 300 times.  Ultimately, she lost him in when she lost the power to reset time.

What I find so interesting in this movie is what it says about love and loss.  It's really quite normal to feel heartache and sadness when someone leaves you even though you know they still care about you and that you're going to see them again.  I used to think this was a weakness or I would feel embarrassed when I found myself in tears saying goodbye to a friend knowing that I would see him in a month or two.  Even though I could logically understand this my heart just felt a lot of loss and pain at separation.

The shortest scripture in the scriptures is two words; "Jesus wept." (John 11:35)  Mary Magdalene has just come to the savior in tears because of her dead brother Lazarus.  I think it is safe to say that Jesus knew he was going to raise Lazarus from the dead.  I've heard a lot of religious scholars talk about how they think Jesus cried because of how happy he was for Mary, Martha, and Lazarus to see the power of God and get a glimpse of an understanding of his mission.  I think this makes sense.

In addition to that though, I think it's also possible that he may have felt grief as well.  Jesus was very close to the family and felt close to Lazarus.  I've come to find that when I've felt heartache it hasn't always been a fear of losing someone close to me.  Really, when I look back, I don't know if that ever really crossed my mind.  I may have told myself that story to try to deal with the grief better but it didn't work. My feelings of loss were simply the sadness of loss.  It didn't matter if I knew it wasn't really gone, I just needed to let myself feel what I felt.

It's okay to feel loss.  It's normal.  It actually makes us like the savior.  We don't need to suffocate it or try to correct it.  We just need to feel it and let it be.  It may not make sense when we logically know we will all get to be reunited someday.  That's okay.

Stay tuned for more coverage on Fantasy-Con and other great stuff from Mormon Geeks.  Thanks reading, watching, and listening!  Oh, and see Edge of Tomorrow.  It's a good movie and deserves to be more successful then it's been experiencing.

-Stephen

 

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