It’s that time of the year where producers and studios have one eye on the awards circuit. There’s nothing judging panels like more than a tale of success in the face of adversity. The likes of The Theory of Everything, The King’s Speech, Hidden Figures, Captain Phillips and 127 Hours all scored big. One would have thought that Andy Serkis’ feature debut, Breathe, would be in the running this time round. However, it’s a subject that, despite the best intentions, is not that suited for cinema.
A dashing young adventurer, Robin Cavendish (Andrew Garfield), seems to have it all. He loves his life as a tea broker in Kenya, living with his beautiful wife Diane (Claire Foy) and to top it all they’re expecting their first child. However, one day everything changes. At the age of 28 he’s struck down by polio. Almost completely paralysed and given only 3 months to live, Robin is ready to give-up, but spurred on by Diane he is determined to try to make a better life for his family.
Produced by Jonathan Cavendish, Robin’s son, Breathe is an important story of a man whose courage and bravery gave millions the chance for a better future. Whilst it’s well acted, directed and written, the subject matter doesn’t really lend itself to gripping drama. In fairness to the creators, they don’t try and ‘sex-up’ the subject. Breathe is an impressive feature debut from Serkis and the ensemble cast bring an important story to light in an entertaining way.
Breathe is released on DVD & Blu-ray by Sony Pictures on 26 February.