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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Columnist recounts first emotional movie experience

True men seldom shed tears. In fact, true men should spend their time consoling their lady loves. However, real men also have big enough hearts to recognize when a certain happening deserves the most sensitive action a man can perform: shedding a tear.

The first movie that did this to me was 2009 movie “Up,” a film about an elderly widower who sets out on a trip with a young Boy Scout to see the beautiful land of Paradise Falls and fulfill a promise to his lost love. The premise is indeed a happy one; in fact, the sole reason this film pushed me (and worldwide audiences) to the level of actual tears was a four-minute scene that takes place near the very beginning of the movie.

In the scene, the protagonist, Carl, and his childhood sweetheart, Ellie, decide to marry, and the ensuing four minutes depict the rest of their married life. Made even more mesmerizing by an incredible score from composer Michael Giacchino, the depiction is my favorite scene in any animated film of all time.

It begins with a feel-good scene of the two marrying in front of a colorful group of family and friends in church. The next minute or so depicts just about everything that people look forward to in the honeymoon phase of marriage. Carl and Ellie move in together, sell balloons together, take long walks through the park and have relaxing picnics where they stare at clouds without worry. It’s impossible not to smile during this minute, but then the bombshell hits.

After happily creating a nursery for their expected child, Ellie is seen crying with her husband in the hospital because she is unable to get pregnant. This moment alone is honestly unbearable. I watched this scene for the first time imagining myself as Carl and my future wife as Ellie; even imagining such a thing happening to my wife is painful each time I watch the scene. The thought that we will never be able to hold our potential son and daughter is probably even sadder.

Pixar gives our hearts a short break by showing that Carl and Ellie get over this incident because of their faith in one day visiting Paradise Falls. But then Pixar catches our hearts in mid air, throws them to the ground and steps on them. Carl and Ellie are shown in old age, still madly in love. The music then becomes melancholy and Carl and Ellie are unable to do what they used to so easily, and Ellie is finally shown collapsing during a walk in the park.

Again, watching this clip as if Ellie is your wife is obnoxiously painful, and Pixar was clearly sniffing blood with this film. With Carl holding her hand, Ellie quietly passes away on her deathbed (thankfully the death itself is not shown).

The torture ended there. Any man with a heart who one day hopes to get married and have a family simply cannot watch this clip and not feel a knot in his stomach. Tears are inevitable.  So men, while it’s probably better to hold in those tears in most cases, drastic movie scenes sometimes call for drastic measures. When something truly deserves a tear, go ahead and give one “Up.”

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