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BluRay Review – If I Stay

2 min read

Based on the bestselling novel by Gayle Forman, If I Stay stars Hollywood it-girl Chloe Grace Moretz as Mia, a reserved cellist ingenue, who upon experiencing a devastating life changing event, must make the decision between life or death for one arduous day.

If I Stay BluRayThe story unfolds through a series flashbacks, weaving in and out of past and present time where audiences are introduced to the central characters in Mia Hall’s life – old school, rocker parents Kat (Mireille Enos) and Denny (Joshua Leonard), little brother Teddy (Jakob Davies) and boyfriend Adam (Jamie Blackley), the swoon worthy lead guitarist for the up-and-coming band Willamette Stone. 

The film’s most promising element were the flashbacks revealing Mia’s life and family as audiences are able to watch her adolescent life unfold. On screen, viewers are able to see her grow as a musical prodigy through the help of her endearingly quirky, rocker parents, as well as her relationship with Adam. In musical retrospect, Mia and Adam are a match made in heaven. However, their contrasting personalities – she’s an introvert and he’s an extrovert – create insecurities and hinder the development of their relationship.

With the film’s relative box office success, grossing $78.3 million worldwide against an $11 million budget, there is no doubt that Moretz’s career is swiftly escalating. Moretz’s performance as Mia solidifies her as a leading actress with dramatic skill; a distinct artistry that is not easily presented within her peers. Likewise, Blackley is sound in his first leading role. Although the chemistry is palpable, the age distinction between the two is unmissable.

With the box office success The Fault in Our Stars, constant comparisons can’t be helped but made as a result of similar themes – book-to-film adaptation, young adult romance and melodrama tone – If I Stay appeals to the right target audience that is progressively booming. However, though the narrative is effective, the screenplay lacks depth and is slow paced. If I Stay struggles between crossing the line from a decent to an excellent adaptation, considerably trying to manipulate the audience with the emotional element of the story whilst disregarding film progression and authenticity.

With her emotional performance in If I Stay, Moretz’s star is shining bright and will stay that way for many more years to come.