Flying into people’s hearts, “Clouds” makes an impact

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“Clouds” premiers on Disney+ starring Fin Argus as Zach Sobiech.

Lizzette Rodriguez, Staff Writer

You walk down the halls of your high school in your senior year, knowing fully well that this is your last year seeing these halls before college, passing by classmates that you’ve known since who-knows-how long. They know your happy-go-lucky personality and that you’re the class clown, always having a smile on your face. Then the time comes around where you need to write your college resume and you are slapped back in the face with the harsh reality that you may not even live long enough to see that far in the future. If this sounds interesting to you, then you should consider watching the movie “Clouds.”

“Clouds,” one of the latest movies on Disney +, released in October, tells the story of 17-year-old Zach Sobiech who is in his senior year of high school; he has an outstanding musical talent but lives life with a cancer that soon consumes his body and eventually his life. 

The movie is based on a memoir which the mother of Zach, Laura Sobiech, had written called “Fly a Little Higher: How God Answered a Mom’s Small Prayer in a Big Way”; the movie adapted a more secular screenplay.

Because of this shift from a religious perspective to a more secular one, was the scene when Zach’s mother, Laura, took her family to Lourdes, France to go to Sanctuaires Notre-Dame de Lourdes, appropriate? Did it give more depth to the plot or was it a waste?

To those with a more religious outlook on life, that scene would have been powerful since a family who is going through a time of desperation go back to the very thing that gives them life. They can relate and see themselves in the family’s own shoes. When looking in that sense, then that scene would have been appropriate since it gives insight into what type of family they are and why they react to their situation a certain way. 

When 18-year-old Eric Rodriguez was confronted with this same question, he said, “I actually liked this scene. It gave depth to what kind of family they are. It gave a bit of characterization to them. Plus it was a dire time for them when they realized he was going to die. So I think that it was pretty interesting that they would actually go all the way to France just to go to the ‘water of life.’” 

Throughout the film, Zach is depicted as a fun-loving boy and the opening scene, when Zach performed for his school’s Talent Show singing “Sexy and I know it,” really gave the audience a scene of what his personality was like and how he overall reacts to his situation. 

Zach, as a person and not just as a character in a film, is a beacon to those who are facing similar hardships that he had to go through. Life is a fickle thing and there are always surprises, but even with this fact, Zach didn’t give up and was still able to accomplish his dream. The recording of the song “Clouds” is what really set off Zach’s new-found fame that eventually led to a record contract and a concert performance before his passing.

Because the film represents the life of a real person who went through these experiences, it can be a hard pill to swallow during those intense moments, but there was a lot of comedic relief and happy moments between Zach and those closest to him. Some would include the creation of the song “Clouds,” Zach’s dad renting out his dream car for him to drive, the song playing on the radio and his family getting excited, when Zach and his best friend, Sammy Brown, had acquired a record contract, and when Zach found out that his best friend had a crush on him. These scenes in specific really immersed the audience and held onto their attention.

The audience was really able to put themselves in the shoes of the family and characters through the use of good acting and atmosphere portrayed throughout the film, and the producers were really good at setting the mood during those emotional and light-hearted moments. 

“I would compare this film to something like ‘Patch Adams’ because one, it’s one of those emotional-comedy movies that are pretty good. It brought me back to something that Robin Williams starred in because very few comedy movies are 100% good without something sad. Sure, some are light hearted and ok, but there are others that are on another level if it also has a sad element. It’s just my opinion but ‘Patch Adams’ was a masterpiece. That movie was really good,” stated Rodriguez. 

Rodriguez concluded with the statement, “I’m not really interested in films or genres such as ‘Clouds’ but this movie was good. It was all around a great film with the sad and funny parts. I give it a 9/10.”

This movie not only expressed the hardships a family and a person have to mentally and physically go through when diagnosed with an untreatable disease or cancer, but it also brought about awareness to different and rare cancers such as the one Zach was diagnosed with, osteosarcoma. 

Anyone interested in donating to support treatments for the cancer that took Zach Sobiech’s life too soon should visit this website: https://childrenscancer.org/zach/