The Mountain Between Us is a movie about two people(Idris Elba and Kate Winslet) who survive a helicopter crash and have to wait it out in the dead of winter surrounded by nothing but mountains covered in snow. They fell in love, but the relationship eventually ended immediately they were able to return to the city. (Watch it! Idris Elba with a British accent is gold!)
But I digress…
It was a great movie to watch, but this article is not about Idris Elba and Kate Winslet. Not totally. This article is an attempt to answer a question that sprung up in my mind while watching the movie.
What Makes People Married?
What makes people ‘married’? Or how do people get married? I know, the answer seems pretty obvious – go to a church or to a court, or have a cultural wedding ceremony. I know all that, but what happens if none of those are available. Your religious leader isn’t there, there aren’t any courts to declare you married, your family isn’t around to conduct a bride/groom price paying ceremony.
How then do you marry this person?
Imagine with me for a bit: Idris and Kate could not leave the mountains but found a way to survive there. If they decide they’ve found love in each other and want to remain together and start a family, aren’t they technically married?
In the case of Idris and Kate where there aren’t any courts, religious places, family, or law, how could they have gotten married? Would they just not be married because those institutions aren’t available?
Marriage is often defined as the legally or formally recognized union of two people as partners in a personal relationship. Foryourmarriage.org defines it as an intimate union and equal partnership of a man and a woman. Elitesingles.com defines marriage as the union and commitment between two people in an interpersonal relationship that is recognized by an official institution, such as the state and church, and is of a sexual nature.
Basically, two people have found long-term committed companionship. They unite and start a family. Life-long Companionship is the primary reason most humans marry. Life-long committed companionship is marriage. You dig?
So if Idris Elba and Rose stayed in the mountains, decided they wanted to be each others companions and become an exclusive united front, they would have been married – committed to each other and united in long-term companionship. No state, no culture, no official institution but still a union and exclusively committed, still partners.
With all that said, what then makes people married? Obviously it’s the culture of where you live, where you’re from or your personal culture. Culture or belief determines how or if you are married. Idris and Kate’s Mountain Between Us culture would have been to just exist in their decided commitment, but won’t be legally recognized as married under the laws of the state.
So what matters in all this? Legality of the union, culture, or the purpose and desire of that commitment? That’s where the crux of the matter lies I guess.