"Love does not claim possession, but gives freedom." ~~ Rabindranath TagoreThe wonderful thing, I find, about watching films I love is I always find something new and meaningful every time I watch it.
While I was watching ET: The Extra-Terrestrial yesterday, one of my favourite films, it occurred to me how Elliot and ET's relationship represents what it means to love without possession. When Elliot discovers ET, who has been accidentally abandoned on earth by his parents, Elliott decides to keep ET as his personal friend, though he keeps ET a secret from his mother. As ET and Elliott grow closer, they are so at one that Elliott can not only feel what ET is feeling, he can also act out what ET is thinking.
Although ET adapts to the human ways quickly, he can't help feeling homesick. He asks Elliott and his brother and sister to help him contact home, which they do. As ET grows more and more homesick, it affects Elliott's health.
Finally, ET is captured by the authorities who try to do various tests on ET to understand him. The scientists discover ET and Elliott's brain patterns are in perfect synchrony. It is only when ET "dies" that Elliott returns to normal and gets better.
When Elliott goes to say goodbye to ET's corpse and tells him how much he loves him, he discovers ET is still alive. ET asks Elliott to take him to the forest where his family are going to pick him up. Elliott's brother and friends accompany them to the pick-up point.
There's that poignant scene when ET is saying goodbye to Elliott and he asks Elliott to come with him but Elliott asks him to stay. They both realise that as much as they love each other, both have to be given the freedom to be true to themselves. Before ET leaves he tells Elliott that he will always be with him.
I believe "ET" is a reminder that love doesn't possess but gives everyone the freedom to express who they are. Sometimes this might mean either spending time together or apart.
Whether we're together or physically apart, we are always one in love.
Related articles: At Home with ET; Bolt of Lightning; The Greatest Gift is Love; What Mood are You In?; Love Conquers All; Love Gives You Wings