Respire Will Leave You Breathless
Okay, maybe not breathless, but Respire (2009), directed by David A. Cross and starring Tracy Teague, Mat Wright, Vince Eustace, Jessica Keeler, and Ellie Torrez, is so much better than what’s crossed my desk in the last few days, I could swoon. Having just seen a regrettable, unforgettable snuff-wannabe, a relic from 1973’s Spanish sleaze-fest, and a crappy carnival, I am happy to report that I’ve just viewed a film one doesn’t have to be embarrassed to admit screening.
Respire has a capable cast and passes the production values standard (its production values are at least equal to a prime-time television drama). Allegedly, “The Ancient Romans believed that the soul escaped one’s body with the last breath,” which is the basis for the story.
The well-crafted opening sequence takes the viewer from the 1930s through the present day as it follows the travels of a carved, wooden box that contains a mysterious vial. The vial contains someone’s last breath—something that holds the power to cure disease and prolong life (according to the Romans, and—hey—they were right about pizza). Teague stars as Susan, a shopkeeper with a short time to live who came into possession of the box at a yard sale.
A young man visits Susan’s shop, interested in the box and a book that is going to be auctioned, for which he is willing to pay $20,000. Susan already has an on-line bid for the box, so she cancels her auction, and—on behalf of the young man--attends the one at which the book is to be offered. There she meets another young man—the one who had placed the cancelled bid on the box. He, too, is very interested in getting his hands on the book.Continued on the next page