TOUCHED WITH FIRE – Rated R

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Writer and Director Paul Dalio brings to light a relationship between two bi-polar patients, whose paths cross in the psychiatric ward of their local hospital, and whose passion and social dysfunction is exacerbated by their coupling…THIS IS TOUCHED WITH FIRE!!

When we first meet the young and beautiful Carla (Katie Holmes), she is in search of answers from her mother Sara (Christine Lahti) on how ~ and when ~ she came to be bi-polar…

Miles away, Marco/LUNA (Luke Kirby) is struggling to find his way in life too with the same dreaded disease, as he has decided to stop taking his bi-polar medication, and his manic episodes are now reeling off the charts…

In constant torment and agony within their own minds ~ Marco is forced to enter the psychiatric ward to get his medications back on track, and Carla, still in search of her past, checks herself in to the same ward, hoping to find answers…

Placed in the same therapy session, Carla and Marco find that they have a lot more in common, than just their disease.

Falling fast for each other, these true poets of mental illness plan to forge a life together, determined to make it on their own, without any doctors, parents or medication to slow them down…

I give TOUCHED WITH FIRE a rating of: WAIT AND CATCH THIS ONE ON NETFLIX or STREAMING: This film is a valiant attempt by Dalio to bring to light the plight of those suffering with bipolar disorder, and for that, he should be commended. Holmes is convincing as the young woman struggling with her illness, and her longing to live a NORMAL LIFE, and Kirby is entertaining too, as the man drawn to the moon, and the love and affection of his new found love ~ well at least when he is in the manic state of his disease. But, even with these positives in place, I found this film to take a very passive approach to the world of those living with bi-polar disorder ~ from the basically simple meeting of these characters in the hospital, to their cut and funny little escapades escaping from their parents, and the hospital staff, to their lives living together, much to their parents dismay ~ the whole storyline just seemed to be understated without any REAL DRAMA taking shape, which I am sure is not THE REAL STORY when it comes to living with this disease, or seeing a family member or friend struggling to keep it together, day, after day, after day, which leaves me to suggest that you catch TOUCHED WITH FIRE in the luxury of your own home, a few months from now…

Kathy Kaiser