“The Age of Adaline”
Last night, I saw what may have been the best film that I have seen in all of my seventeen years. When I left the Theater after seeing “The Age of Adaline”, the best way to describe the state that I was in is utterly fascinated.
This movie is about the extraordinary life of a young woman in the early 1900’s who became immune to time. Imagine, your entire life stopping exactly where you are. Imagine being immune to death. Imagine having no life-clock counting down until your last moments on earth. Adaline Bowman was going through life like everyone else does and then, out of nowhere a scientific anomaly occurred. She did not really notice it at first, but after awhile it became apparent that something was different about her. She was not getting grayer as her little daughter Fleming grew into a vibrant young woman. Eventually, the two looked as if they could have been sisters and then adhering to the natural aging process, Fleming started looking older than her.
Adaline studied endlessly to find an answer as to how and why she simply could not age. She concluded eventually that science could not offer an explanation. Eventually, people started chasing Adaline. They wanted to hook her up to machines and run tests. Adaline did not want to spend her life like a monkey in a cage, so she ran. She spent the majority of her life running, Her nomadic way of life causing her to miss out on the things that normal people treasure. She could not take photographs, live or work in one place for long for fear that someone would recognize her and her immunity to the ravages of time.
She lived in obscure places where she could not be easily located and did not give out her address. She avoided creating long-term relationships at all costs.
She simply moved about, changing her name, simply existing, never truly living.
Twice, Adaline let her guard down. In the 1960’s she fell in absolute love with a free spirit named William Jones. The two went on tremendous adventures together in Europe and back in the United States.
However, she never told William her secret. William came around to proposing to Adeline. She saw him from a cab, ring in hand, and told the driver to keep going. Fast forward to modern times and Adaline is celebrating New Year’s Eve with a close friend of her’s who is blind. Across the room, she spots Ellis. The two immediately make a connection. Adaline tries to shake it off.
Ellis finally convinces Adaline to “let go” of whatever it is that is holding her back. The two go on several dates and Adaline agrees to visit Ellis’s parent’s home for their 40th wedding anniversary, unaware that she is about to come face to face with William Jones, the man whose proposal she stood up thirty years earlier and Ellis’s father.
William cannot believe his eyes when he comes face to face with Adaline. She tries to cover herself, telling the family that her name is Jenny (her current alias) and Adaline was her mother who died a few years prior. However, William cannot shake the feeling that he has just encountered the woman that he loved who fled him so long ago. After a few days of William awkwardly staring at “Jenny” and questioning her about her “mother”, he snaps. He goes out to an old storage shed to search for what may have been the only photo Adaline ever took with him.
When he sees her face in that photograph, he recounts the way she acted, her face, her smile and he knows without a doubt that the woman, Jenny, who is dating his son, is actually Adaline Bowman. William confronts her saying that he knows who she truly is, asking why she abandoned him so long ago and how she is so well preserved. Adaline simply says that she does not understand her circumstances either. The reality of the situation is too immense for Adaline and she flees the Jones’ beautiful woodland home, taking Ellis’s car, leaving only a note for Ellis.
Ellis knows that he cannot live without Adaline. So, he chases after her, taking his father’s car. Adaline reeling with emotion drives way too fast. She is taking turns too sharply and not paying attention. She is trying discern what is truly important and necessary for her to do. She stops the car in the middle of the road and picks up her iPhone. Seconds later she is hit by a truck which sends Ellis’s tiny car flying off the road and into the ditch. The truck leaves her to die at the scene of the accident. There we see Adaline’s body, lying cold and motionless on the side of the road. Essentially she dies. Ellis drives quickly, chasing the love of his life. He comes upon the accident and darts to Adaline’s side. Paramedics are able to respond quickly and using the defibrillator they are able to revive her.
In the hospital, the doctors reveal to Ellis that Adaline remarkably sustained no long term damage from the accident. Ellis, who has obviously been scrutinizing over trying to figure out why Adaline fled, starts apologizing for putting too much on her too fast and everything that he might have done wrong. Adaline decides at that time to tell him the complete truth, starting with “My name’s not Jenny”. Fleming hurries into the hospital to be by her mother’s side. She tells Ellis that she is Adaline’s grandmother. Adaline informs her daughter, “He knows”. Tears flood Fleming’s eyes as she is filled with happiness and peace, with the assurance that her mother can finally live her life. The three are in the midst of accepting the reality of Ellis and Adaline’s unique relationship of Adaline remaining the same while Ellis ages. However, they do no realize that when the paramedics revived Adaline, it set her back on the normal course of aging. In the end, Adaline and Ellis are getting ready to go out and celebrate the New Year. Adeline checks her appearance and notices something irregular- a gray hair. In the end, she is finally free to live a long, happy, normal life with Ellis Jones.
I have always been intrigued by time. Everything about it captivates me. There are many things in this life that you can burn or lose that can be replaced. You can never replace time. Time passes and never returns. Even if every being in the galaxy was destroyed, time would go on. Time is ever present. It is always moving around us, even if we are unaware of it. Often, I find myself so preoccupied with petty everyday concerns that I forget time is moving on all around me.
Each human is given roughly a hundred years to make their mark. On the scale of eternity, one hundred years is quite small. I really think that is the beauty of life. Every moment is worthy of being treasured because you’ll never have another moment like the one you had before.
As the hands on a clock tick away, even children are a second closer to being old and gray.
This film undoubtedly gave me a higher appreciation of the special moments in life, such as choosing a companion to journey through your one hundred years with.
That someone has to be something really special, because you don’t get another hundred years to try it all over again.
This film, was a MUST SEE in my Book.