breathe

★★★

Director: andy serkis (debut)

Starring: andrew garfield, claire foy, tom hollander, and hugh bonneville.

 

REVIEWER: emily carter

After contracting polio, Robin Cavendish is confined to bed and given only months to live. But with the help of his wife Diana, Cavendish survives and devotes the rest of his life to helping fellow patients and the disabled.

A true story of human strength, human connection and the human condition when against the greatest of adversities - Breathe is heart-warming and heart-breaking in the very best way.

 

Robin Cavendish (Andrew Garfield) is a cricket-playing, tennis-loving, travel-obsessed Englishman who throws himself into all that life can offer. He meets and marries the equally adventurous and witty Diana (Claire Foy), and together they take their adventures offshore. Just when we fall in love with their own newlywed bliss, tragedy strikes. Robin becomes completely paralysed by polio - a disease the medical world is still coming to understand.

 

The couple are dictated by doctors who say that Robin simply can't exist outside of a hospital, and Robin's zest for living quickly fades, whereas Diana's commitment to keeping him around only grows, as does the risks she's willing to take!

 

Breathe is a true story that inspires in so many dimensions. Sheer human strength and determination is put to trial through a love story you can only admire. Claire Foy was my favourite as Diana Cavendish - a wife and mother full of fierce fire and commitment to her husband above all else. She carries her character's strength and sense of humour in the most endearing way. 

 

Hugh Bonneville as Teddy Hall is a more minor character that becomes completely memorable. He's plucky and willing to push the boundaries where he can. He's part of a factor of the film that truly stuck with me - the unconditional love and loyalty of the Cavendishes' friends throughout their story.

 

With lush landscapes throughout and a roller-coaster ride of trials and triumphs, Breathe is fulfilling as film in all corners of the screen. A compelling directorial debut for Andy Serkis, capturing a story that must be told to the world. 

 

My only criticism being all the bits brushed over that could have added more depth to the story. The work the couple ended up dong for polio was brief in the film and more focus could have added to the film's overall celebration of what CAN be achieved despite circumstances. 

 

A moving and memorable story that celebrates human strength, but you are left slightly wanting in snippets of the storyline.

★★★

Breathe is available on DVD, Blu-ray, and digital from all good disc and digital retailers. 

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