And Breathe Normally - Title Card

And Breathe Normally is a slow-moving drama which has touching moments but won’t necessarily leave you saying or in awe.

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And Breathe Normally is a slow-moving drama which has touching moments but won’t necessarily leave you saying or in awe.

Director(s) Isold Uggadottir
Written By Isold Uggadottir
Date Released 1/4/2019
Genre(s) Drama
Good If You Like Slow Moving Drama

Seeing People Trying To Get Their Life Back Together

Watching Immigrant Stories

Isn’t For You If You Need Comic Relief or Moments That Lighten Things Up

Require Characters To Have Notable Personalities

Noted Cast
Lara Kristín Þóra Haraldsdóttir
Adja Babetida Sadjo
Eldar Patrik Nökkvi Pétursson

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And Breathe Normally Plot Summary (Ending on 2nd Page)

Lara is a struggling single mother who, with getting a job as a border agent, is finally seeing things turn around in her life. Unfortunately, the job comes around a month late for she and her son, Eldar, end up homeless. Enter Adja, a queer women trying to make her way to Canada, who gets stopped by Lara and whose passport is noted to be fraudulent, thus keeping her in the country. These two, later on, find themselves meeting and so comes the question if Lara, a fellow mom, will understand Adja’s desperation or put herself, and her child, before Adja trying to give her child the best life possible.

On The Fence

No Thrills, Just People Making The Best Out Of The Cards Dealt

One thing which may make this a hard movie to sit through is that it lacks the things many dramas employ to leave you on a high. The first doesn’t have it where Lara or Adja’s struggle is grueling and makes you deeply invested. Also, neither have the kind of personalities which stand out. They are everyday people. And, while they are both dealing with hardship, neither of their stories come to the type of ending which leaves you wanting to discuss what happened for better or worse.

In a way, what we get here is a slice of life drama. Something that, minus Adja finding herself suddenly part of Lara’s life, are everyday problems. Adja is trying to escape persecution for being queer in her home country and was caught on her way to Canada. Lara, a former addict, who may also be queer, is trying to be the mom to Eldar she wasn’t when he was a baby. Both stories could have been littered with dramatic moments, Eldar could have been used more for Lara to have empathy for Adja, but that doesn’t really happen here.

What we ultimately get is something which is a drama solely because it depicts human life without thrills and paints the consequences of pursuing simple joys. Be it the joy which comes to love freely or get a hit off some drugs. Nothing more, nothing less.

Overall: Mixed (Divisive) | Available on Netflix

Adja (Babetida Sadjo)
Adja (Babetida Sadjo)

By no means is And Breathe Normally bad. More so, it just isn’t for everyone. It lacks that oomph many dramas utilize to keep its audience engaged, and that creates a problem. One which, unless you are into slow-moving dramas, that don’t build up to a fever pitch, this will not entertain you. It will be the kind of film that leaves you always waiting for something to happen, someone to bring more energy to the film, and leave you frustrated when neither happens. For, in the long run, this is a film trying to tell a story, not be a means of entertainment.

Hence the mixed label. While the story and performances are real and grounded, there is nothing presented to give even the slightest hint of entertainment. It is all about givng its audience something raw with no sugar. Which, at times, makes this a bit difficult to sit through.

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