“I don’t want to just survive. I want to truly live.”
Breathe is the directorial debut for actor and motion capture extraordinaire Andy Serkis. Serkis was previously seen in Summer 2017’s War for the Planet of the Apes which he has garnered critical praise for his performance as the ape leader Caesar.
Breathe is the story of Robin Cavendish who after being paralysed from the neck down by polio, becomes a pioneering advocate for the disabled and travels the world to transform the lives of others like him.
The film is 117 minutes long and features performances by Andrew Garfield as Robin and Claire Foy as his wife Diana in the leading roles. The story begins introducing the relationship between Robin and Claire and abruptly cuts to their life as a married couple. The audience is never given a moment to connect with the characters or feel the chemistry between the two leads, as the pacing of the film is disjointed and feels like a rapid succession of shots without context.
Garfield and Foy give strong performances throughout the film, Garfield especially while being limited within his circumstances. However, it is a shame that we are never given the opportunity to see the struggle fully as whenever a problem is presented within the film, the following scene is of its resolution. The film strives for a positive tone throughout the entirely of the movie, but without fully realizing Robin’s struggle, that positivity does not feel earned by the end.
The score feels extremely mismatched to the events taking place on screen as when the picture is telling the audience one thing, the music is conveying another. The film spans a time period of twenty years which never gave the film a specific barrier to overcome, only adding to the pacing and unstructured problems throughout the film.
We left our viewing of Breathe without feeling any connection or sense of achievement along with the characters. Strong performances aside, we DO NOT recommend watching this one.
If fans of Andy Serkis are coming into this film expecting his grand directing debut, they are better off waiting for his live action Jungle Book rendition releasing next year.
Breathe is out October 20 2017 in Limited Screenings.
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