Breathing [atmen] Movie Review

With elusive writing and directing, actor-turned-filmmaker Markovics inventively lets his story unfold with honest, natural pacing that quietly draws us in. It's a remarkably thoughtful, complex approach to an important subject.

Roman (Schubert) grew up as an orphan and has been in detention for the past four years. Now 19 and on day-release to find a job, his mentor (Liebmann) worries that he'll never be able to sustain a normal life. But it's the new job that begins to get to Roman: he's working for a company that transports human corpses. And as he starts to think about mortality, he decides to track down his birth mother (Kischka) to get some answers about who he really is.

With a beautifully internalised performance, Schubert lets us see into Roman's soul. He quietly submits to a full-body search each time he returns to his prison, and hides from the other inmates while he thinks about his future. Or rather whether he has a future at all. There are moments when his spiky humour and surly stubbornness reveal themselves, as well as a tenacious yearning to make the awkward interaction with his mother mean something. And both Schubert and writer-director Markovics make sure we understand and feel every pang of his emotional journey.

But there isn't a moment in this film that's obvious; Markovics assembles each scene in a matter-of-fact way that relies on the tiniest details to give us the information we need. The filmmaking is subtle and expressive, full-on and unblinking and yet also intriguingly enigmatic. And you could describe the work of the entire cast in the same way. It's mesmerising to watch Roman quietly discover his way in life and find a bit of badly needed confidence, even though everyone in the prison continues to torment him as usual.

Along the way, there are some stunningly moving sequences that draw out the tenderness in characters who are trying to be tough. Markovics proves to be seriously adept at catching moods and telling an involving story without relying on dialog or movie manipulation. So as the plot fills in details and moves forward, he doesn't need sentiment to make us see ourselves in the characters and situations.

Cast & Crew

Director :

Producer : Dieter Pochlatko, Nikolaus Wisiak

Starring : Thomas Schubert, Karin Lischka, Gerhard Liebmann, Georg Friedrich, Stefan Matousch, Georg Veitl, Klaus Rott, Luna Mijovic



Breathing [atmen] Rating

" Excellent "

Rating: 15, 2012


Editors Recommendations

It's The Bellas Vs. The World In 'Pitch Perfect 2' [Trailer]

After raising the roof with their angelic a cappella chorus in 'Pitch Perfect'...

It's The Bellas Vs. The World In 'Pitch Perfect 2' [Trailer]

Marilyn Manson Denies Involvement in Lana Del Rey "Rape" Video

Marilyn Manson says he has nothing to do with a controversial video in which...

Marilyn Manson Denies Involvement in Lana Del Rey

mi Mandela: Idris Elba Has An Album Out, And You Need to Buy It

Idris Elba has been in the news all week, firstly for teasing the possibility of...

mi Mandela: Idris Elba Has An Album Out, And You Need to Buy It

Iggy Azalea on Eminem, "I'm Sick of Old Men Threatening Women"

Pop singer Iggy Azalea has called Eminem an "old man threatening young...

Iggy Azalea on Eminem,

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 - Review

This four-part franchise, based on the Suzanne Collins novels, turns very dark with this strikingly bold third film...

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Movie Review

Dying Of The Light - Trailer

Trapped in a terrorist prison and tortured, Evan Lake (Nicholas Cage) is eventually free and makes his way back to the...

Dying Of The Light Trailer

'Better Call Saul' Just Got Real. It's Coming February 8, 2015

The hugely anticipated Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul has an official...

'Better Call Saul' Just Got Real. It's Coming February 8, 2015