Belfast Telegraph

Breathe: Poignant tale of overcoming odds will leave you breathless

 

By Damon Smith

Breathe is the inspirational true story of a dapper young man, who contracted polio in Fifties Kenya and was confronted with the grim reality of spending his final days confined to a hospital bed, paralysed from the neck down and reliant on machines to carry out basic bodily functions.

Encouraged to embrace life by his spirited wife rather than shrink from it, the patient blazed a defiant trail by venturing outside of the hospital ward in a specially constructed wheelchair fitted with a battery-powered mobile respirator.

There are strong echoes of The Theory Of Everything in Andy Serkis's directorial debut, which is anchored by sterling performances from Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy as the married couple, who believe the strength of their love and the enduring power of the human spirit will prove science wrong.

Scriptwriter William Nicholson cuts back and forth between the central love story and medical miracles, delivering gentle tugs to our heartstrings as setbacks embolden the seemingly powerless to risk everything for one more day in the sun.

Three stars

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