I actually reject the idea that it would have clearly been more humane not to have her daughter if she had the choice: I'm not sure what's crueler — condemning someone to a life that's short and ends painfully or denying someone the opportunity to experience life in the first place. (I'm not really interested in that debate, though.) MY POINT is that Amy Adams' character did not make a conscious choice; she had no power to change the timeline (because time isn't a "line" that can be altered) and so shouldn't be blamed for making a bad "decision." (But I can see Martin's point about her knowingly misleading her husband, though I can imagine mitigating circumstances there. He didn't gain the same nonlinear-time squid-insights, so maybe he, too, assumed that his wife could change things, and that pissed him off [that's what we're told happens, right? It's been a while since I saw the movie].)
Saltine, it makes more sense to me that Amy Adams' character gained awareness of what was coming but went along with it because, along with that awareness, she understood it couldn't be changed. The movie shows us the death of the daughter first, as if to say: this happens, whether Amy Adams wants it or not.
The fact that the events "already happened" doesn't mean she has no agency.
Are there moments in the movie that support this reading (insistence on free will)? Or is that something that you as a viewer are projecting onto the story?
"If you could see your whole life from start to finish, would you change things?" I'd say there's implied agency in that sentiment.
I'd say that we hope there's agency - but will we really know?
I don't remember the statement Martin refers to, but it seems like an incomplete understanding of the implications of nonlinear time, even if it's uttered by a main character in the film.
Speaking of wrapping heads around stuff, I certainly have a hard time imagining what existence must be like when you're able to experience anything and everything that happens to you as a constellation of things rather than a progression. Everything that makes us human — our notions of free will and planning and choices; of growing up, retirement, death; of recreation and creativity — are keyed to points on a timeline that, even among most organisms on earth, only we perceive (i.e., that our brains manufacture for us).
Morton Feldman: String quartet (II)
John Cage: Atlas Eclipticalis