Invigorating Romance: Our Review of ‘Breathe’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Film Festivals, Movies by - October 24, 2017
Invigorating Romance: Our Review of ‘Breathe’

A tale of determination, love, ingenuity, and happiness is a hard one to pull off, especially when based on a true story and afforded an opportunity to embrace trappings of cliche and smaltz. Breathe, gthe directorial debut of Andy Serkis, is lovely and remarkable for the story it spins and the way in which it does it – and doesn’t  – immerse the viewer in a sweet, optimistic world.

When is diagnosed with a polio at only the age of 28, Robin Cavendish’s life expectancy drops to mere months, and there isn’t much he can do physically in the meantime either. But unwilling to die – or at least without dignity and before exhausting every option, Robin (Andrew Garfield) and his wife Diana (Claire Foy), along with a few fortunate friends, looks to improve the time they have together, against conventional beliefs and medical opinions. In essence, he would rather die trying to be alive, than hold on to life while doing nothing.

The central turn in the film comes when Cavendish’s friend Teddy Hall works toward creating a wheelchair with a respirator, which allows Cavendish to leave not only the hospital, but the confines from a room, a home, a town, and even a country.

We’ve then a surprisingly vibrant, invigorating biography of the couple as they continue to elevate their ingenuity and trust, exploring worlds that those capable might not even embrace, and surely might not appreciate to the extent. Garfield is both impressive and likable, although he doesn’t talk a great deal for a good part of the movie. And while his turn is notable in this limited role, Claire Foy is dazzling and carries the film on her shoulders.

As Diana, she agonizes and uplifts, cares and consoles, tends to his needs, hers, and that of their son. The sincerity with which the story is told, and the deep, convincing love between the lead couple make this film winning, and indeed much better than really it has any right being.

And sure, it’s a story of taking advantage of opportunities afforded to you by luck and circumstance, such as being wealthy and white and British all at the same. Still, there is plenty to enjoy and perhaps even be inspired by.

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Anthony is a lover of a good story in any form, on any subject. Tirelessly navigating filmdom, he is equal parts an unbridled idealist and stubborn curmudgeon, trying to strike a balance between head and heart when it comes to pop culture. He pens stories about television, music, the environment, lifestyles, and all things noteworthy and peculiar.