Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Adam, Asberger's Syndrome, and Sociality

It was around November and it was raining. I was wearing my (at the time) favorite black leather French resistance-inspired hat and the rain wasn't bothering me at all as it tends not to for the most part, anyway.

We were conversing about this and that while sipping from the paper cups and enjoying the rain.
Then came the revelation. It was disclosed to me in full intimacy and honesty what the other party had as a chronic condition. For the first time in my life I got to know experientially what so many people before me used to mean when using the word 'compassion'. I also learned for the first time that true intimacy is born out of difficult sharing. I remember uttering no words. All I offered was a smile followed by a hug. No words were necessary. Just pure, unadulterated, and honest sociality.
This experience of mine came to life again while viewing the new film Adam.

Since that rainy November day, my appreciation for and understanding of people who suffer with/from chronic conditions has increased immeasurably.

In the film Adam, the main character has Asperger's Syndrome and while the film does bear his name, the story itself is more about his soon-to-become lover and dear friend Beth Buchwald who is convincingly played by Rose Byrne. In a well crafted manner, the film manages to recount rather effortlessly and comfortably how Beth comes to deal with Adam's condition and how she is instrumental in teaching him how to get integrated into the world and live independently.

Hugh Dancy plays Adam and I have enjoyed Dancy's performances in basically everything he's done. He seems to be the kind of performer who makes it easy for the people he acts with to, well, act.

I recommend this film to you not out of its great cinematic values. Granted it does deliver on quite a few counts. What makes this story one I think you should explore is the message it imparts. That it takes a village to do life, whether you're syndrome-influenced or not. The film captures effortlessly the need for healthy and honest sociality and how it is, more often than not, stronger than the most potent pharmaceutical drug.

Here's the preview.

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Sra said...

Looks like it could be a good show.

I think a lot of socially challenged people might actually fall somewhere in the Asberger's spectrum. How sad it is for those who are not able to understand basic human social functions. It's got to be a difficult existence.

Dana said...

I think that the majority of people understand, at least on some level, how frustrating it must be for people with neurological disorders and, like Beth, they take it upon themselves to help.
Hugh Dancy has such a wonderful face. And his American accent was charming.

Dana said...

Did you ever see this other film about two people with Asperger's, Mozart and the Whale?

Anonymous said...

Rose Byrne has such a peaceful demeanor. Good casting. Amy Irving was good as the mother, I thought. And the soundtrack was great!!!

Anonymous said...

By the way, I gave 500 another look last night. Still beautiful!

Sean said...

I also like Dancy and this looks like sth worth my time.