BREATHE – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr. 57 mins. 

Breathe

BREATHE – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr. 57 mins. 

Starring Andrew Garfield, Claire Foy, Tom Hollander, Hugh Bonneville and Ben Lloyd Hughes 

English Actor Andy Serkis (LORD OF THE RINGS, DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES) has decided to sit in the Director’s chair this time around, as he brings the real-life drama of English polio patient, and health advocate Robin Cavendish to life…this is BREATHE!

Living the exceptional existence of a 28-year-old young man in love…we meet the handsome and debonair Robin Cavendish (Andrew Garfield), courting the stunningly beautiful Diana Blacker (Claire Foy), destined to make her his bride…

As these two travel to exotic Africa, finding only the finest coffee for his consumers back in England…it seems that their will be the pitter patter of little feet soon, when Diana finds out she is with child…

Excited about his new family, and what the future holds, Robin was not prepared for the tragedy that was about to unfold, when he is stricken suddenly with polio, and given only months to survive…

Not wanting to die in an infirmary, Robin begs Diana to take him, and his newborn son Jonathon home to England, where he can die in peace and in his own surroundings.

As the months pass by, and with the help of his wife Diana, and her goofy twin brothers Boggs and David (Tom Hollander), Robin decides that he might want to stick around for a little while longer…and watch their beautiful little boy grow…

Tired of being confined to his bed, and his oxygen tank, Robin enlists the assistance of his friend, and inventor, Teddy Hall (High Bonneville) to help him devise a chair, and breathing apparatus, that can get him outside and about town, in this incredible, new fangled contraption…

When their invention seems to work, Robin is now afforded the ability to move about, whenever and wherever he wants…thus realizing that giving this mobility to the other hundreds of thousands of paralyzed patients throughout England, should be his life’s mission.

With the help and assistance of friend and Dr. Don McQueen (Ben Lloyd Hughes), Robin, Diana, Jonathan (Dean Charles Chapman) and their entourage try to convince the government, and the health establishments in England, that this combination wheel chair/breathing apparatus is a piece of equipment that no paraplegic in England, or anywhere else in the world for that matter, should be without…giving new meaning to Robin’s life, for as long as he has left…

I give BREATHE a rating between MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN and WAIT AND CATCH THIS FILM ON DVD. For his first time in the Director’s chair, Serkis did a fabulous job of bringing the life and story of Robin Cavendish to life! Garfield’s performance was good, but not nearly as good as his performance in last year’s HACKSAW RIDGE, which I truly felt he should have received the Oscar for (Sorry Casey ;). Foy’s performance is wonderful as well, although I don’t think it will be bringing her any accolades come awards season either. And the quirky dual performance that Hollander puts on the screen, as the twin brothers of Diana is rather adorable too, but its definitely nothing write home about either. I enjoyed viewing this storyline and glimpse into Robin’s life, depicting the day- to- day struggles of someone afflicted with this disease, and the confinement that it brings about, along with the medical advances that Robin’s vision, and the vision of his friend and business associate Hall forged for future generations. I also felt that the cinematography throughout was exceptional, with the large panning countryside views throughout this film, and the close ups of the pain and agony Robin had to go through. But, with that said, I also felt that this film fell shy of making it a definite MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN…as at times it felt slow and labored, kind of like Robin’s breathing throughout the film. If you love biographies and at times, very touching storylines, then please head to a theater near you this weekend to catch BREATHE. But if you are hoping that this film will leave a lasting impression on your psyche, as Garfield’s last performance did, then you might end up feeling rather disappointed…like I did…

Kathy Kaiser