Monday, February 15, 2016

Deadpool Made Me Cry ... But Not Due to Laughing

It's been a long time since I've updated my blog. Life got away from me. I got a new job, which is good. And my father lost his battle to cancer a few weeks ago, which is bad.

I try to keep my personal life away from this blog as much as possible but I got inspired to write about the Deadpool movie because of what happened in my personal life -- in this case, my father's death. In the past three years, I have lost two of the most important people in my life to cancer and my feelings on the disease is nothing short of F-U.

I've experienced seeing those I love suffer due to this disease and I'm kind of tired of seeing cancer used as the sexy, tragic disease in movies and TV Shows. Cancer victims are usually beautiful, good-hearted people who tragically lose their hair and die beautifully and good-heartedly, touching those around them as they beautifully leave this earth, manipulating the audience to cry. Having had a front row seat, I can tell you -- that is not the case. Cancer is a horrible, often disfiguring disease and it kills people of all personalities and all races and all classes. I just wish stories about disobedient cells ruining people's lives weren't so insulting to those who suffer from it.

Don't get me wrong. There are some great depictions of cancer patients and movies that aren't so horrible. I thought 50/50 was pretty good. Gran Torino was surprisingly good. And Miss Rosa from Orange Is The New Black is awesome and if you say so otherwise, I will find you and kill you.

But there is one movie that opened this last weekend that depicted cancer in a respectful way. Yeah, the writers used it as a way to get the story going but the insight made me cry. A raunchy, R-rated, superhero comedy made me cry. And in a stranger way, the movie felt cathartic.

What movie could that be?

I may get into spoiler territory from here on out so read at your own risk.

To be honest, I wasn't all that familiar with Deadpool. What I knew about him was the snarky panels people would share on tumblr and the brief appearance he made on Wolverine Origins. Originally, I didn't plan on seeing it in the theaters but I read reviews and decided this would be a good movie to uplift my spirits.

The movie made me laugh. That much, I wasn't surprised about. Ryan Reynolds often makes me laugh. What I didn't expect was it made me cry too. I couldn't believe it. And furthermore, what I couldn't believe was that the movie did the cancer storyline in a way that didn't feel manipulative. I'd even argue that part of the movie could be a metaphor for angry feelings at cancer -- I am already picturing Deadpool making fun of that statement.

Not only is it heartbreaking to see Vanessa, the hooker with a heart of gold and Wade's love interest, beg him to stay, but the way she went about it felt very similar to those I love reacting to my dad and my brother. Then, there was one line Deadpool said that really hit a nerve, "The worst thing about cancer is seeing how it hurts those you love around you." I know my dad felt that way.

There was yet another scene in which Deadpool studies Vanessa like this would be the last time he saw her. That stabbed me in the gut as I remember the last time I saw my Dad and he looked at me in a similar way, like he knew this would be the last time and he wanted to memorize my face.

Deadpool surprisingly could be sentimental in small, tiny moments like that. I saw some people complain that those moments were the worst because they wanted to see Deadpool act more like Deadpool. I respectfully disagree. Those moments grounded the film and just in general were well done.

The scenes with Ajax torturing and Deadpool mutating also brought to mind my father's own experimental treatment he underwent. It did give him some more time but the side-effects were brutal. While it certainly wasn't as brutal as Wade's treatment, I was reminded of that. And thing is, many cancer patients take the risks with these treatments and they don't always go the way they hope.

Kind of like Wolverine Origins

That brings me to Deadpool's revenge scheme against Francis. I saw it in part as a big fuck you to cancer and its brutal treatment of poisonous chemicals.  It sucks and man, I wish I could hunt down every cancer cell and destroy them while making witty jabs.

Lastly, Deadpool dealt with his whole ordeal with a sense of humor which certainly was a great message to have. That certainly how my dad handled it. He always had a joke to tell or a witty observation to make. Having a sense of humor has helped me survive these last three years. I needed it. The last time I made my Dad laugh, I recited the below -- something that could be a Deadpoolism if you added more dicks to it.

Or really this is moot for Deadpool because he can't die

I really liked Deadpool even despite me reading way too into it about its cancer themes. Most of all, it made me laugh and reflect at a time in which I needed it.