Breathe

2014

Drama

9
IMDb Rating 7.1 10 6424

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
March 26, 2020 at 12:40 PM

Cast

Radivoje Bukvic as Le père de Charlie
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
829.82 MB
1280*534
French 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 30 min
P/S 20 / 94
1.67 GB
1920*800
French 5.1
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 30 min
P/S 18 / 67

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by tigerfish50 8 / 10

Sociopath in the Schoolyard

The opening shots of 'Breathe' depict the tranquil facades of a quiet provincial town in Southern France as a new day dawns. A sensitive teenage girl called Charlie awakens to the habitual sounds of her parents arguing over the father's infidelities. By evening the marriage has disintegrated, and Charlie begins a new chapter in her struggle to avoid emotional stress.

Friendship with a charismatic new classmate called Sarah seems to offer Charlie some refuge from the painful aftermath of her family's break-up. The pair quickly develop a bond - but it soon becomes apparent Sarah shares some of Charlie's father's tendencies toward dishonesty and selfishness. Charlie's hunger for affection makes her especially susceptible to Sarah's deceptions and manipulations, and the relationship transforms into a quicksand of suspicion, jealousy and betrayal. The tension builds to a suffocating level as the shifting alliances of Charlie's teenage community increase her sense of isolation. 'Breathe' has some similarities to the American melodrama 'SWF', but it's far more credible, layered and well constructed. The film is also flawlessly written, directed and acted throughout, which makes its unexpected conclusion especially electrifying.

Reviewed by Good_Will_Harding 10 / 10

Someone pick this up for North American distribution right now!

After years of missing out and the repeated back and fourth of "ok-yes-definitely-maybe-probably not-too late" excuses, I finally made my way down to the Philadelphia International Film Festival. I was just visiting the area this past weekend and figured that I'd finally swing by the festival after years of hoping to get around to it. That said, I only had enough time for one film, and while there were a lot of heralded festival heavyweights I could've picked from, I figured I'd opt for something that – while it's gotten my personal attention – hasn't garnered much interest elsewhere and probably won't be getting a legitimate North American release for quite a while. The film in question here of course being Melanie Laurent's positively riveting teen drama Breathe, or Respire, if going by its original French language title.

The information pamphlet for the festival summarizes the film as follows: "Charlie is an average French suburban teenager, but when she becomes fast friends with Sarah, the rebellious new girl at school, she discovers there's nothing average about how she feels in Melanie Lauren't sexy sophomore film." Sounds about right.

What that description didn't have enough time for was to really go into detail regarding the story, which depicts a seemingly fleeting instance of young lesbian love gone miserably awry, transcending typical teenage girl drama and winding up taking a serious emotional and psychological toll on both of those involved. But if this film is starting to sound like a certain other French lesbian drama that came out last year blog, I can assure you that the similarities stop there. Putting aside the country of origin, subject matter, and age group of the protagonists, the two films hardly have a great deal in common (more on their similarities later). In fact, this film's generally understated tone makes it more akin to something like The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a similarly melancholic portrayal of young adults grappling with difficult life situations, rather than Blue is the Warmest Color.

In the leading role of Charlie is Josephine Japy, an alluring young French actress who, along with director Melanie Laurent, has created the single most sympathetic female protagonist of 2014, with Japy being able to express an extremely raw vulnerability with little more than her body language and facial expressions, instilling an immediate sense of empathy upon the viewer. However, that's not to suggest that she is depicted as a flawless saint or a mere innocent victim herein. In fact, both of the leading ladies' most defining internal character traits – Charlie's near crippling shyness and Sarah's rampant possessiveness – begin to manifest themselves externally over the course of the runtime, for better or worse. And while certain early details hint at Charlie's lesbianism (her preference of the more masculine nickname Charlie over her birth name Charlene; the story of her underwhelming first sexual encounter with a boy), it becomes less of an abstract and a more identifiable part of her personality as the film goes on, which culminates in the most significant dialogic exchange regarding her feelings for Sarah, which also happens to be spoken in the English language.

Another thing the film manages to perfectly capture is the hotheaded, whirlwind nature of the excitement of being a part of a brand new friendship and/or romantic relationship (or in this case, somewhere in the middle). And if the aforementioned Blue is the Warmest Color was a depiction of a young woman's self discovery of her own budding sexuality and subsequent first love gone all's well, then Breathe offers the flip-side version of that scenario. This could be attributed to it providing a similar narrative foundation, and almost identical first ten minutes to Blue's, before things peak early and begin to crumble quickly for our young heroines.

And from a technical standpoint, the film also impresses. For an actor turned director, Melanie Laurent has a striking visual sensibility, which proves to be perfectly matched for this subject matter, with several individual shots and/or sequences vividly highlighting Charlie's isolation, and it also has one hell of an effective long-take.

Festival or not, Breathe is one of the single best films I've seen from 2014. Hopefully it gets a more prominent release soon, or I'll distribute the damn thing myself.

Reviewed by sepial 8 / 10

A quiet, disquieting portrayal of the potency of emotional conflict at Teen-age

So she's a great director, too. I still haven't seen Laurent's 'Les Adoptes', but will close this gap asap after watching this her 2nd feature film. On the surface alone 'Respire' offers everything that's good about and expected from a social drama produced in Europe: hand- held camera, faithfulness to the light in which we'd see each scenery in real life, the effects being in the faces rather than in post production. The story being told by those faces as much as by film narrative, foremost by Josephine Japy's face. And the film unfolds as everything but mere surface. It's a very simple story, a school friendship going awry with tragic consequences, but Laurent's focus is on the subtleties of this relationship's evolution in each moment, and in collaboration with formidable acting this makes it a compelling watch. One small but powerful feature of film language that particularly delighted me was the smart use of slow motion: slow-mo is too often used in other films in a very annoying, bashful in-your-face way, here it is sparsely used, brief moments that follow the sole purpose of accentuating, and these moments work. The final result is a quiet, engaging, and ultimately disquieting and unsettling portrayal of the potency of emotional conflict at teen-age, of how unrehearsed and thus affecting, cruel and potentially dramatic and disastrous actions and reactions can be, especially if the pretence of adjustment hides the cracks of insufficient, failing or absent home support. Reacting increasingly becomes overreacting, foreboding eventual catastrophe; vulnerability takes vengeance on the greater vulnerability, and it is the containment of this greater vulnerability beating with the heart of the more reasoned protagonist that will in the end cease abruptly and give way to a surrender of control. The final take, as simple, precise and convincing as the entire film, is nothing short of ingenious. Praise be due to the performances of both leads, especially Josephine Japy (often reminding me of a young Binoche), as well as that of Isabelle Carre, playing Charlie's mother.

Read more IMDb reviews

3 Comments

Be the first to leave a comment