Film Review – Breath (2017)

Title – Breath (2017)

Director – Simon Baker (feature debut)

Cast – Samson Coulter, Ben Spence, Simon Baker, Elizabeth Debecki, Richard Roxburgh, Rachael Blake

Plot – Growing up in a small Australian town in the 1970’s, teenage boys Pikelet (Coulter) and Loonie (Spence) uncover the joys of surfing and begin a life changing friendship with older local surfer Sando (Baker).

“I still judge every joyous moment, every victory and revelation against those few seconds of living”

Review by Eddie on 04/05/2018

It may take time to see how Breath is regarded in the list of all-time best Australian movies but regardless of how Simon Baker’s debut feature as director ends up being regarded in due time, Breath is easily one of the most impressive local film’s in year’s and arguably one of the best film’s yet made about the power and alluring nature of surfing.

Based on Tim Winton’s novel of the same name, Breath centres around teenage mates Pikelet and Loonie (played impressively by newcomers Samson Coulter and Ben Spence) who in a small coastal town in Western Australia begin a love affair with the waves and a friendship with the older and married surf loving Sando that will shape the course of their lives.

Its a personable and relatable tale, one that is very close to Winton’s heart as an avid surfer and a long time resident of Western Australia and Baker not only does a great job at mixing in teenage coming of age scenarios but perfectly captures the majestic and ominous beauty of the ocean.

Breath looks beautiful, captured thoughtfully by Baker and his DOP’s Marden Dean and Rick Rifici, its one of the more visually captivating local film’s to come our way in sometime and therefore justifys an added reason to capture this adaptation on the big screen outside of its nicely crafted character drama.

With Pikelet and Loonie we have two teenage boys we’ve likely all come across before in our time, Pikelet the quiet and introverted type and Loonie the more carefree and rashly thinking troublemaker and as these two unlikely commrades attach themsleves to the lives of the somewhat sad Sando and his troubled wife Eva (played by Elizabeth Debicki), Breath creates a real and lived in world where things are set in course for the shaping of these characters lives.

Final Say

Breath is a methodically paced and baggage free coming of age drama that is anchored by a respect and capturing of Australia’s relationship with the sea.

An experience long removed from the world of The Mentalist, Simon Baker has here marked himself down as a director of note with what will be one of the year’s best Australian films.

4 lamb chops out of 5

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