A word is dead when it’s been said, some say. I say it just begins to live that day. – Emily Dickinson
The characters I read about come to life in my imagination. I sometimes dream about them, their lives continuing to resonate with me long after I finish the book. Some characters move me in such a way that it’s hard to let them go, and I imagine how their lives might continue outside of the novel. However, the ability to transform fictional characters into living people might be beyond my powers! The following movies show the power of words and how they can give life – or take it away.
In Ruby Sparks, the up and coming young author Calvin Weir-Fields, played by Paul Dano, attempts to write a second novel. When his words become real in the form of a woman in love with him, he has much more to deal with than writer’s block. Their relationship starts out in a picture-perfect state, but when it begins to bend and break he uses the written word to stop her from leaving. It will take all of his strength to rewrite their story, and to decide whether to continue to hold her captive or let her go.
In Stranger than Fiction, Harold Crick, played by Will Ferrell, is just an ordinary man until the day he begins to hear a voice in his head narrating his life. He hears the voice while he is brushing his teeth, while he is waiting for the bus, and when he meets the beautiful and independent Ana Pascal, played by Maggie Gyllenhaal. However, when the voice announces his imminent death, Harold Crick seeks guidance from a literature professor to track down the narrator and convince her to let him live.