Gerald Wright's Movie Coverage
Tribeca Film Festival- April 25th-May 6th
THE AIR I BREATHE
Directed by: Jieho Lee
Director of Photography: Walt Loyd
Editor: Robert Hoffman
Film Composer: Marcelo Zarvos
Run time: 97 mins.
This superb film is based on an Asian proverb that breaks life down into four key emotions: Happiness, Sorrow, Pleasure and Love. The film is composed of four vignettes, each focusing on a character that represents one of these emotions (though not always in an obvious way). Overlapping stories that dramatize the four cornerstones of life.
Happiness, the first vignette, focuses on the plight of a spiritually morose investment banker (Forest Whitaker) who is desperately looking for an escape from the slow death of his daily grind. He over hears a tip on a horse race and bets and loses with a ruthless mobster named Fingers (Andy Garcia), who would like to legitimize his business through the entertainment industry. Happiness throws his conformist life out the window and impulsively robs a bank - only to get caught and shot dead. But not before he toses the bag of money off of a roof.
The central story follows the romance between Pleasure (Brendan Fraser), a tougher than nails gangster/enforcer who can see the future, and Sorrow (Sarah Michelle Gellar), a Goddess-like beauty who is a rising pop-singing star, but in a turbelent era in her career. When Sorrow's management contract falls into the hands of the brutal fist of Fingers, Pleasure must choose between following his heart, or his future-telling visions and crime.
Finally, there's the tale of Love (Kevin Bacon), a passionate doctor who is in love with Gina (Julie Delpy), his best friend's wife. When a lab accident befalls Gina, she finds herself in the hospital with only 24 hours to live unless she receives a rare blood tranfusion. Which sends Love into a desperate race against time to find the blood type....which sets into motion the ultimate and emotive collision of fates between Sorrow, Pleasure, Love, and Happiness--and Not to forget Fingers.
This film pits lives of the characters in an urban frontier rendered with emotion, snappy dialogue, and a current of heated rage and sexual desire buzzling beneath the surface of a slick and cool aesthetic. This is a great piece of work shot in High Definition.