Those in the mood for a lighthearted trip to the movies on Monday night were led astray if they thought “Breathe” would be such a film; sobs could be heard throughout the theater as credits rolled.
Despite the tears, the film is intended to be an uplifting story of hope about a married couple — Robin and Diana Cavendish, played by Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy, respectively — who seek to live life to the fullest after Robin is afflicted with polio at the age of 28. Despite being paralyzed, Robin was able to live outside of a hospital, thanks to an invention by his friend Teddy Hall.
“I was sent the script and I just thought it was so, so beautiful. It made me cry a lot, but a joyful kind of crying,” Garfield said of the story.
“Meeting Diana and their story and the love story that they have and the devotion that she had for her husband, and then Andy [Serkis] was directing it and Andrew [Garfield] was in it…everything drew me toward it,” said Foy. “I was like a moth to a flame.'”
Although the film portrays Robin’s death, the biopic feels more like a celebration of his life than a lecture on the horrors of polio. “It’s really not a sort of a sentimental, dark tale of disability — far from it, it’s the opposite, it’s about living life to the fullest,” Serkis explained.
Jonathan Cavendish, the son of Robin and Diana and a producer on the film, was also in attendance. “What I’d love for people to take away is the fun and the joy and the humor and the love story that my parents managed to put together having faced such extraordinary adversity,” he said.
More from the Eye: