Breath dives deeper
Breath (M) Stars Samson Coulter, Ben Spence, Simon Baker, Elizabeth Debicki, Richard Roxburgh, Rachael Blake Director Simon Baker Review Leigh Paatsch
Adapted from the much-loved 2008 novel of the same name by Tim Winton, Breath has a universally accessible yet personal story to tell.
The message so gently conveyed is both a reassurance and a challenge.
While it is natural to be intimidated by the unknown, it is a mistake not to understand why.
The humble yet hard-headed intent with which Breath explores this theme will not be lost on any viewer willing to show the film the patience and respect it warrants.
For Breath is Australian cinematic storytelling at its finest: mature, adventurous, intelligent, playful and calmly assured. If you are looking to isolate the time in which Breath takes place, stick a pin anywhere you like in the middle of the 1970s.
It is here we find two friends — best friends, in fact, despite their obvious differences.
Pikelet (Samson Coulter) is just about to turn 14. He’s a good kid, a conscientious student, a dutiful son.
Loonie (Ben Spence) has already turned 14. He’s a likeable kid, but calling him a good kid would be really pushing it. School is a bust.
With plenty of time on their hands and some of the best waves in the country right on their doorstep, it is inevitable Pikelet and Loonie are surfers in the making.
Just as the waves come calling to the boys, so too does an older mentor who believes being at one with the ocean shapes “men above the ordinary”.
Sando (Simon Baker, who also directs for the first time with restraint and aplomb) was once a pro surfer and now kicks back in a shack on the outskirts of town.
As for his mysterious girlfriend Eva (Elizabeth Debicki), well, let’s just say she can sense something else in Pikelet that will both scare and shape him into the man he will one day become.
Simon Baker, Ben Spence and Samson Coulter in a scene from Breath.