Movies That Made Me Cry: Bridge to Terabithia (2007)


This post contains spoilers to the film, Bridge to Terabithia.

I have never read the award-winning children’s novel by Katherine Paterson, so the first time I watched Bridge to Terabithia, I didn’t have any idea what was in store for me. The deceiving movie previews made it seem like Bridge to Terabithia was the next Chronicles of Narnia. Fortunately, it wasn’t.

The film is based around two kids, Jesse and Leslie, who spark a unique friendship with each other on the basis that they both never had friends before and how they both have a wild imagination. From there, they’re able to open each others’ minds to a world they call Terabithia.

In my opinion, Leslie meant a lot more to Jesse than he did to her, though they both expressed their best friendship openly towards one another. With Jesse’s broken house, strict father, and annoying sisters, all he looked forward to day after day was hanging out with Leslie and going to Terabithia with her. 

We all had that “something” we could do or go to escape from the stress and hardships of reality when we were younger. Personally, I used to build forts or tents in my own room, pretend my bed was a ship that was sailing to a distant land, or I allowed my imagination to take over with my action figures and Legos. The feeling of being consumed by a fantasy world, if only temporary, is enough to keep a child’s innocence intact. 

The truly tear-jerking moment was when it was brought to our (and Jesse’s) attention that Leslie died. She was swinging on the rope to Terabithia when the rope snapped, she hit her head, and drowned. I honestly cannot imagine the feeling of losing a best friend at such a young age. 

I feel the way the movie portrayed the way Jesse handled the news was true to heart and accurate. He didn’t believe his family at first. He got mad at anyone who provided sympathy towards him. The morning after, it didn’t seem like he remembered that she was dead, until he visited the house for the wake. And then the next few days dragged on like a lifetime. He felt completely lost and alone without Leslie. He even ran through Terabithia calling out her name. Slowly, he began to leave her memory behind but it was undoubtedly painful for him. 

It’s tragic when someone dies, but exponentially more tragic when it’s a child. In the movie’s case, it was the bright and sweet Leslie, who was the one strong beam of light in Jesse’s murky world. She showed him a world of fun and imagination. She allowed him to celebrate the life of being a kid. It’s horribly sad when someone of such great importance is taken away. This is why Bridge to Terabithia is such a powerful family film. Life, whether that of an adult or a child, is full of surprises and pain. For Jesse, Leslie was both.


10 Responses to Movies That Made Me Cry: Bridge to Terabithia (2007)

  1. Tblover says:

    I do know what its like to lose a bestfriend. She was 12 and the nicest person ever so i cried my eyes out when i saw the film as i knew how he felt :(

  2. I’m a guy and that movie made me teary eyed, I never read the book and had no idea that was going to happen, I honestly didn’t believe that she actually died at first, I thought he was going to find her, but it didn’t happen :(. And by the way I don’t how gay that sounds… that was a sad movie…

  3. Jenna says:

    I didn’t cry over any other movie that I was supposed to cry over.. except this one. For me, it was when Jess was looking after her and smiling, looking kind of starry-eyed. I knew what was about to happen since I’d read the book… That movie has an element that few movies have. The kind that takes hold of your heart and refuses to let go. Loved it..

  4. varun kp says:

    actually i dont have a friend like that but my eyes also wet by seeing this movie

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  6. Ahmed Bouhamra says:

    This is by my reckoning, the first movie to ever bring tears to my eyes, I love it !

  7. Bob says:

    I was so close to crying in this it was not funny. I wasn’t even this sad when Dom died in gears of war 3.

  8. I like reading through a post that can make people think.

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  9. Jiang Brian says:

    I watched this and thought Leslie could have just as easily been the one i love.

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