The inspiring true love story of Robin and Diana Cavendish, an adventurous couple who refuse to give up in the face of a devastating disease. Their heartwarming celebration of human possibility marks the directorial debut of Andy Serkis.
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When Robin is struck down by polio at the age of 28, he is confined to a hospital bed and given only a few months to live. With the help of Diana's twin brothers (Tom Hollander) and the groundbreaking ideas of inventor Teddy Hall (Hugh Bonneville), Robin and Diana dare to escape the hospital ward to seek out a full and passionate life together - raising their young son, traveling and devoting their lives to helping other polio patients. Written by
Three wheelchairs were made by Teddy Hall, he named them the 'Cavendish' wheelchair. Teddy Hall built the original chairs with his own money. He had a considerable amount of money because his grandfather discovered the largest lump of gold to be found at the time in Australia. See more »
"Breathe" (2017 release from the UK; 117 min.) brings the story of Robin Cavendish. "What Follows Is True" announce the big screen as the movie opens. We get to know Robin, who gets to know Diana at a cricket game and after a whirlwind romance, they marry. We are then transported to "Kenya 1958", where after playing a tennis match, Robin collapses. He is diagnosed with polio. Paralyzed from the neck down and tried to a ventilator, Robin is given three months to live At this point we are 10 min. into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Couple of comments: this is the directing debut of British actor Andy Serkis, best known these days for playing Caesar in the "Planet of the Apes" franchise reboot. Here Serkis brings us a biopic of Robin Cavendish, who really didn't die after just 3 months. Instead Robin and his wife Diana refuse to give up and try to give Robin a glimmer of hope and some normalcy. The man's life is truly inspirational. Alas, I wish I could say the same thing about this movie. Andrew Garfield (as Robin) and Claire Foy (as Diana) do the best they can with the material they are given. But the movie lacks overall in drama and feels done strictly-by-the-numbers. The set's production certainly can't be blamed, and the photography is quite good as well. "Breathe" feels like Oscar-bait but in the end simply doesn't deliver.
"Breathe" opened this weekend at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati. The Sunday matinée screening was attended so-so (probably the sunny 75 degree weather had something to do with that). I had high hopes for this movie. In the end I felt let down. I encourage you to check out "Breathe", be it in the theater, on Amazon Instant Video, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray, and draw your own conclusion.
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