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Hope and healing in 'Days of Future Past'

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X-men Days of Future Past

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Time is supposed to heal all wounds; to sooth the pain of the past with the gentle promise of the future. But what if the past could be rewritten? What if the footprints of souls surrendered to darkness and despair could be guided back to the light? Could the essence of humanity be restored?

In "X-Men: Days of Future Past" the fate of all mutants hangs in the balance as they struggle to survive in a world drenched in the blood of war. Desperate and alone, the X-Men, led by Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), reunite in a final attempt to reconcile the future by sending Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) into the past to change the outcome of one mutant’s fatal choice before it destroys them all.

While all of the mutants are haunted by their own personal demons, Mystique’s (Jennifer Lawrence) journey is one of the most significant elements of this film. In the last film she was Raven, a frightened child who Charles Xavier adopts as his sister. While Raven’s ability to transform her appearance made her feel like an insecure outcast, she was still very much an innocent young woman who believed in her brother’s cause.

In “Days of Future Past”, Mystique is at a turning point in her life. Ten years have passed since she chose to follow her own path and she is now alone. A fatal decision has left her spirit fractured and she faces a painful choice: does she surrender to the darkness of her chosen path and become Mystique or does she choose to remain in the light as Raven? While there is a part of Raven that is drawn to the darker side of her personality (her quest for revenge) there is a deeper layer of her character that remains inherently good and that is the side of her that Xavier and Magneto are desperately trying to save.

Mystique is also the catalyst which connects the Xavier and Magneto from the future with their younger counterparts in the past. In the future Xavier and Magneto have reached a fragile truce and their actions are motivated by their common bond – they both care very deeply about Mystique. When Wolverine meets their younger counterparts in the past, their friendship has been shattered by the feelings they each have for Raven and ironically those same feelings are what motivate them to put aside their differences and help Wolverine.

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