After a remarkable adaptation of Stephen Hawking’s life with “The Theory of Everything”, it seems that Hollywood is in the game of releasing films around significant diseases that we would presently become more familiar with. In the case of “Breathe”, we see Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy star in a well done drama about polio, and how this man was determined to stop at nothing to let it interfere with his life.
At only 28 years old, Robin Cavendish (Garfield) is given only three months to live after being diagnosed with polio, paralyzed from the neck down. Prior to the diagnosis, we see Robin and Diana (Foy) explore their ever so romantic story starting at a cricket match. After only a year of being married, Robin contracts polio in Kenya where the couple had settled. The film explores the true meaning of “in sickness and in health” and the persistence of a man who lives way past his life expectancy.
This is Andy Serkis’ directorial debut, and as the film starts, you expect to be in a film so sweet and romantic, with Garfield and Foy’s characters getting acquainted. Serkis highlights the devotion of Diana’s character as Robin’s wife, from joining him to travel around the world to help many others living with the same disease her husband endures everyday, to the innovative way to live like many others; roaming the streets, visiting shops, going shopping with the help of an engineered wheelchair.
Although this film may not see an Academy award run, it is definitely worth noting that the story it tells is one that’s inspiring and important to many living with, whether it be contracting or close to a loved one, the heart wrenching diseases we face to this day. Andrew Garfield shows that he can do more than spin webs and fight wars without guns, and his day in on that Oscar stage is sooner than we expect.
Elevation Pictures releases Breathe on Home Entertainment January 2, 2018
[Review by Reem Chahrour]