jump to navigation

Losing Words . . . One By One April 4, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
65 comments

Iris Murdoch, acclaimed writer, lost her words.

One by one.

The onset and progression of Alzheimer’s caused great anguish to Murdoch and her husband and friends. 

As she saw her words slipping away, she struggled to get the thoughts she still longed to share down on paper before it was too late.

Iris, the movie about her frustrating struggle with the disease, tells her story through flashbacks, with Judi Dench and Kate Winslet sharing the title role.

From an Amazon review by Linda McDonnell:

There’s one especially telling scene, when Jim Broadbent, the husband of Alzheimer-afflicted Judi, finally breaks down and starts screaming and yelling at her in bed, his outburst drawn from the terrible abandonment he feels at the loss of his heretofore brilliant wife. We see the rage that the disease causes in survivors and caregivers, who seem to get nothing back no matter how tender the care they lavish on their loved ones.

Unlike “A Beautiful Mind”, there can be no happy ending at the conclusion of “Iris”; Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease the end stage of which is death. “Beautiful Mind” showed triumph through adversity, but that is not possible with every illness. Thus, “Iris”, though undeniably a well-crafted piece, is tremendously sad. See it on a sunny afternoon, when you can still go out and enjoy what is left of your day; it is not a film to see and then face the dark uncertainty of night.

The film does NOT have a happy ending.  How could it?  But it does portray what happens when the words we use to communicate our heartfelt thoughts dry up and blow away . . . leaving only a desert of sand behind.

No rules.  Just write . . . as fast as you can!

What say you?

Have you seen the film?  Have you experienced the frustration of watching Alzheimer’s progress . . . eroding the personality of someone you love?

Have you observed words blowing away . . . unspoken?

Related post:  Lexical Blues (BeeBlue’s Blog)