"Breathing Life into Love: A `Five Feet Apart` Review"
Posted Tuesday, Nov 21, 2023 59
The film introduces us to Stella and Will, two teenagers with cystic fibrosis. As patients in the same hospital, they navigate the complexities of their condition, which demand that they maintain a safe distance from each other to prevent cross-infection. Amidst medical routines and the confinement of hospital walls, a tender yet challenging romance blossoms.
Five Feet Apart delves into themes of love, mortality, and the yearning for human touch. It is imbued with a touching, bittersweet tone that captures the simultaneous fragility and robustness of youthful spirits faced with the precarity of life.
The lead performances by Haley Lu Richardson and Cole Sprouse are vulnerable and heartfelt, bringing to life characters that are as endearing as they are steadfast. The supporting cast complements the narrative adequately, each character feeding into the central theme of companionship and support.
Director Justin Baldoni adeptly balances the film on the fine line between romance and a respectful portrayal of a serious medical condition. His careful approach ensures that the film resonates emotionally without veering into the melodramatic.
The emotive score, alongside an apt selection of contemporary tracks, underscores the film`s emotional journey, poignantly amplifying the protagonists` internal battles and moments of joy.
The film`s cinematography is clean and poignant, contributing to the story with frames that add an intimacy to Stella and Will`s relationship and a claustrophobic feel to their confined world.
Production design is detailed and thoughtfully arranged to reflect the hospital environment, with a personal touch to both Stella and Will`s interests and personalities that add depth to their characters.
Special effects are used sparingly, serving the film well in moments that require an emphasis on the characters` medical experiences without drawing undue attention or breaking the film`s sensitive tone.
The editing weaves the ebb and flow of a love story punctuated by the constraints of illness, subsequently balancing narrative tension with moments of stillness and reflection.
The pacing is deliberate, allowing the audience to immerse themselves in the relationship that unfolds at the speed dictated by the characters` unique circumstances.
Dialogue in `Five Feet Apart` strikes a chord between being earnest and didactic, sometimes teetering on the brink of cliché, but often finding a grounding in the genuine chemistry between the leads.
While the film at times risks falling into a `sick-lit` trope, it is largely saved by the earnest performances that inject a raw and genuine quality into the script. The film is not without its predictable moments but manages to maintain a hold on the viewer`s heartstrings.
In `Five Feet Apart,` the emotional investment in Stella and Will`s impossible romance is effortless. The film`s ability to invoke introspection on life`s invaluable moments is its greatest triumph. As a critic, I was moved by the way it wholeheartedly embraces its narrative while fostering a genuine conversation on illness and connection. The movie invites audiences to feel the characters` pain and passion, leaving an impression engrained with empathy and a poignant yearning for human touch in a world often taken for granted.