A drama based on an ancient Chinese proverb that breaks life down into four emotional cornerstones: happiness, pleasure, sorrow and love. A businessman bets his life on a horse race; a gangster sees the future; a pop star falls prey to a crime boss; a doctor must save the love of his life.
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A frustrated and clumsy bank clerk overhears the conversation of three coworkers in the toilet about a fix in a horse race, and bets a large amount. He loses the bet and owes the money to the dangerous and powerful mobster Fingers. A gangster who works for Fingers has the ability of foreseeing pieces of the future; he is assigned to collect money for the boss, with his troublemaker nephew Tony, and is beaten up by a gang. The manager of pop-star Trista loses her contract to Fingers without her agreement and she is threatened by the gangster. A dedicated doctor seeks a blood donor that might have a rare blood type to save the life of his secret and unrequited passion, a beautiful epidemiologist who's married to a friend. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
"The Air I Breathe" is perhaps one of the most tragically overlooked films of 2007.
An ensemble cast featuring Brendan Fraser, Julie Delpy, Andy Garcia, Forest Whitaker and Sarah Michelle Gellar, among many others, is brought together perfectly in this study of the Six Degrees of Separation by relatively fresh director Jieho Lee.
The story, which is apparently based upon an old Chinese proverb, unfolds in four acts, titled Happiness, Pleasure, Sorrow and Love. Each of the acts focuses on a character representative of the suggested emotion, with Whitaker's Happiness and Fraser's Pleasure standing out as the strongest among a plethora of powerhouse performances.
Like other ensemble dramas -- smash hit and Oscar winner Crash (2005) comes to mind -- the film weaves a tapestry with its players, connecting them all to one-another in ways which may seem unimaginable at the start, but wholly believable and even touching come the film's stunning conclusion.
The film has it all, much akin to the proverb it seeks to replicate. I would recommend that anyone who is looking for a night of quality entertainment consider picking this one up.
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