Touched by Fire 2015
Director: Paul Dalio
Cast: Katie Holmes, Luke Kirby, Christine Lahti
My Rating: 3/5
Carla, played by Katie Holmes, befriends Marco a.k.a. Luna, played by Luke Kirby, while in a psychiatric hospital as they find they have many things in common. As their relationship grows you are introduced to the up and downs of those who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Their manic highs are countered by long depressing lows.
I’m not sure if it was intentional, I believe it was, but the movie’s pace seems to follow that same up and downs as someone with bipolar disorder. The build up to Carla and Marco’s manic high is thrilling. You get sucked into the story and then, boom, the jig is up. The high is over. Following the characters manic high, the movie’s pace slows to a near crawl. You will urn for another manic high. There are several of this up and downs throughout the movie. By the end, you will just hope for some semblance of normal level of emotion following the up and downs. Just like a patient getting lithium to control their bipolar disorder.
The reason why this movie doesn’t get more than a 3 is because during the lows, I didn’t feel low. The movie definitely felt slow but it almost got to slow to where I lost interest. The movie just failed to inspire that sadness from me where you actually feel the characters might actually not survive. Music or slightly different cinematography/editing might have helped but I can’t put my finger on what was missing.
Two bipolar patients meet in a psychiatric hospital and begin a romance that brings out all of the beauty and horror of their condition.
During Carla and Marco’s shared manic high, their world becomes more and more unrealistic. I liked how as their manic escalated the walls became like moving artworks that was inspired by their imagination. Almost like you were behind their eyes or could see what they could see.
Later in the movie, Marco begins to rise into another manic episode. You see Vincent Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” theme reappear. In this scene, you see Marco in front of the swirling recreation of the paining, while Carla stands in a blank grey wall which could symbolize their state of mind during the scene.