The Air I Breathe review
Daniel Corleone - wrote on 02/19/12
An underrated well executed film about universal themes of happiness, pleasure, sorrow and love. Happiness (Forest Whitaker) is a bank employee tired of the daily routine of his life. Pleasure (Brendan Fraser) is a gifted debt collector who can see the future and works for a powerful mob boss named Fingers (Andy Garcia). Sorrow aka. Trista (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is managed by Fingers since a client cannot pay his debt. A longtime friend of Love (Kevin Bacon) has been bitten by a snake. Gina (Julie Delpy) can only be saved thru a blood transfusion in which Trista’s is a match. In some esoteric coincidence, their personalities intertwine that could change their lives. One of the best lines that somewhat relates to the characters: “Everyone has a purpose. Sometimes a person lives their entire life without knowing what theirs is”.
The screenplay was exceptional with so many quotes to ponder on: Sorrow – “Did you know that scars are the roadmap to the soul?” Pleasure – “Sometimes risking everything is the only choice you have.” “Sometimes the things you can't change end up changing you.” “Seeing things you don't always want to and just moving on. After a while things become easier. Your dream keeps your mind from wandering. You begin to accept things as they are. Every man has his destiny. You can't escape it, even if you can see it coming.” Love - "It's not all about the money." Though it’s hard to believe Fraser as a tough guy, he becomes effective here and you can really feel empathy for the characters of Whitaker and Gellar who did a splendid job. The soundtrack and direction (notice the counter close-ups, usage of light, flashbacks and more) kept you engaged from start to finish. Though one can be disappointed in certain scenes with certain characters, it is such as life in general which the picture tried to portray. Despite The Air I Breathe being a box office flop, this reviewer feels it could have had more attention it truly deserves since it doesn’t only delve into the 4 main themes, it shows how one can reform for the better, but also the importance of appreciation and that destiny can be altered in certain aspects. Smart and entertaining.