I don’t know where to start with this movie besides saying I loved it. I even liked Brendan Fraser in it. Which says a lot considering, with the exception of the movie School Ties, I usually tolerate him at best.
The Air I Breathe connects the lives of four people who represent four emotional states, happiness, pleasure, sorrow and love. The story is not told linearly which I think makes it more interesting. Sure there are a lot of movies that interconnect stories but it doesn’t mean they aren’t interesting.
Forrest Whitaker is Happiness and it’s kinda hard to believe that when you first meet him. He’s happy or at least supposed to be by American standards. He did well in school, he has a nice paying job as a businessman and he has a home. Safe, predictable life, never varying. Happy right? But a chance overheard conversation takes him down a path that will have him experience true happiness for the first time in his life in a way no one would ever suspect.
Brendan Fraser is Pleasure. Money collecting thug for a bigger thug. He doesn’t love what he does, nor does he particularly hate it. He’s pretty much shut out any emotion. But a chance meeting allows him to begin to take down the walls he’s built around his emotions.
Sarah Michelle Gellar is Sorrow. A professional singer with the stage name of Trista. She tries to escape the pain and sorrow of her past by being loved by tons of fans. But it’s not enough. Does she ever find happiness or is sorrow always for her to bear?
Lastly Kevin Bacon is Love. A doctor who seems to have everything but someone to share it with. Love seems to be constantly taken away from him. When the love of his life is about to be taken away permanently he goes to great lengths to prevent this.
I think the storyline interweaves very well and the pacing while somewhat slow really isn’t a problem. This is a great cast and I can’t believe I’ve never heard of this movie before finding it on Netflix. It pulled me in from the beginning but that may have just been that I find Forrest Whitaker an excellent actor. But I also think what also makes this movie enjoyable is how writer/director Jieho Lee expertly uses visuals and voice-over to make you feel like the movie is a conversation with the audience.