One Deep Breath — Coping with Suicide
by Amos Lassen, Reviews by Amos Lassen, 21 February 2015.
Mael’s partner, Adam (Thomas Laroppe), has taken his own life and he is having a hard time dealing with it and the fact that their past together was often troubled. When one of Adam’s lovers (he had more than one), Patricia, tries to help Mael she finds herself in danger.
This is the story of a couple, two lovers and how the death of one affects the other (or so you think at first). With Adam’s death, Mael is beside himself in grief. As we watch the film, we learn what happened as well as the consequences of suicide. A friend of mine, a psychiatric social worker, describes suicide as the ultimate “fuck you” and that really plays out here. When someone dies that we are close to we not only feel mental anguish but often physical pain as well. Mael personifies this—he suffers and he has to deal with what comes after a loved person takes his own life. Mael is so lost that he is like one of the living dead as he relives the time that he and Adam shared together. He is lonely and he wonders if he had done things differently might Adam be alive today. Blanc gives a multilayered performance as Mael, quite a complex character who has to find a way to deal with the tragedy of death and how it transforms who he is.
Antony Hickling directs the screenplay that he co-wrote with actor Andre Schneider who also acts in it. There is something unique about every Hickling film but that is for you to discover for yourself when you see One Deep Breath. Director Hickling throws us into a world of sex and dark feelings and we are immediately aware that this is a complex film by the choppy way the narration is given to us. There is a triangular relationship between Adam, Mael and Patricia (Stéphanie Michelini) and it is complicated especially when two of the three involved persons have to deal with the death of the third.
Let me stop right here and catch my breath for a moment. I am still dealing with what I saw in the film and perhaps I should not be writing this review until I totally come down from the viewing of the film. It is the sign of a good film when we continue to think about when its over and I really want to write my feelings down. Hickling uses ideas of modernity and lyricism to captivate us and it works perfectly. Our eyes remain glued to the screen because we do not want to miss a single word or action. What had once been a promising past became a difficult present but I am not going to explain because to do so would be to give away too much of the plot. The trio shared quite a history that moved from memories to realism and back again. There is a touch of the French New Wave here as well and I personally love a film that keeps me thinking.
I realize that some of you might think that I have written this review using double-talk because I avoid saying too much. You will understand why when you see the film—take my words for it and find a way to see it as soon as possible. You will not regret it for a second.