I’m pleased to report that film junkies of all genres (rom-com excluded) will most likely find IFC‘s latest project, Inhale, quite appealing. Directed by Baltasar Kormakur and starring the always lovely Dermot Murloney, this picture has it all: suspense, action, moral dilemma, and a dreamy leading man. The film opens nationwide this weekend.
Check out the review below…
- Director: Baltasar Kormakur, John Clafin
- Writer: Walter A. Doty III
- Cast: Dermot Mulroney, Diane Kruger, Sam Shepard
Santa Fe District Attorney, Paul Cheney (Mulroney) and his wife Diane (Kruger) wait with bated breath for news of a donor for their daughter Chloe – who’s in the fatal stage of a degenerative lung condition. The list is long and Paul becomes increasingly desperate to save his daughter – so desperate that he’ll risk literally everything to organize an operation for her. After learning of a “Dr. Novarro” who allegedly performs illegal transplants in Mexico, he heads south, only to learn that Novarro’s medical ring runs deep into a criminal underworld. Dramatics ensue.
- Structure: Having read the synopsis prior to the screening it seemed doubtful that Baltasar could successfully pull this off in a mere 83 minutes. I stand corrected. Inhale features multiple conflicts, all of which warrant and were given their due screen-time… without breaking an hour and a half. Structurally, Inhale is no bull shit. There’s a vivid “purpose” to every scene. If it’s not exposing vital story information or enhancing the impact of the final climax, it’s not in the film. It’s safe to attribute this to both the writing and the editing. Oftentimes (especially when the story is particularly juicy) writers need an excuse to make their “points” or plug in a little info which generally appears totally fixed and forced. Inhale unravels organically but is cut in a way that feels rapid, almost desperate – which works, because it compliments the nature of Paul’s mission and the story on the whole.
- Moral Dilemma: There is equal suspense/action/moral dilemma, which is clearly the most impressive facet of this film. But the moral dilemma doesn’t disclose itself entirely until the final minutes of the movie. Paul puts his life on the line to not only find this organ trafficking network but to convince these doctors to conduct a procedure on his daughter. As his wife and daughter are crossing the border, we learn that the “patients” providing the organs in Mexico aren’t donors – they’re victims. These doctors are murdering Mexican children – which clearly forces Paul to reevaluate this entire extravaganza, even with his daughter a week shy of death.
- Performances: Excellent across the boards.
- Awareness: There are countless drug/sex trafficking films – but this is the first I’ve seen of organ trafficking. Any film that generates some sort of “awareness” gets a gold star in my book.
- I got nothing.
Inhale is something of a John Q meets Sin Nombre. It’s awesome. I highly, highly recommend it.
The film has a nationwide release Friday, October 22nd.