Just a Breath Away: why Sarah was able to live in a poisonous fog. Just a Breath Away (2018): full plot, content, ending explanation, meaning, similar films
Country: France, Canada
Genre: fantasy, thriller, adventure
Year of production: 2018
Director: Daniel Roby
Cast: Romain Duris, Olga Kurylenko, Fantine Arduin, Michel Robin, Anna Gaylor
Slogan “Hold your breath”
Just a Breath Away (original title Dans la brume) is interesting because French directors do not often indulge the viewer with disaster films. The picture turned out to be quite spectacular and dynamic, it looks literally in one breath. The meaning of the film Just a Breath Away is fully revealed in the finale, but it really makes you think. Nevertheless, let’s do a detailed analysis of the picture in order to fully understand the depth of the idea.
The plot of the movie Just a Breath Away
The content of the film Just a Breath Away introduces the viewer to the married couple Mathieu and Anna. They have a daughter who suffers from the rare Steemberger disease. This disease does not allow Sarah to breathe ordinary air, so the girl is forced to live in a completely isolated capsule.
The main roles in the film were played by Romain Duris and Olga Kurylenko. Frame from the film.
At the same time, Sarah grows up as a completely sociable child, communicates with other children suffering from this syndrome. They even have their own community, which one of the participants jokingly calls “goldfish”, clearly hinting at the fact that they are forced to live in an aquarium.
Let’s start the description of the picture with the plot line. Mathieu returns home from Canada. There he met with a progressive, but little known method of treating Sarah’s illness. He is sure that this will help the girl to lead a full life, but for this she needs to move to Canada. Anna disagrees. The child’s doctor knows nothing about this method of treatment, and she clearly does not want to risk her daughter’s health.
Suddenly, Paris shudders from incomprehensible blows. Mathieu jumps out into the street to find out what happened. He sees people fleeing in panic and clouds of smoke escaping from the ground. The street is covered with an incomprehensible but dangerous fog. Mathieu runs home to his wife and daughter. The girl is in a sealed capsule, and nothing threatens her.
Therefore, the spouses grab the walkie-talkie and go upstairs to the elderly spouses living under the very roof. From here, Mathieu sees the streets of the city, covered in fog almost to the very roofs.
In order for the capsule’s life support system to work, the batteries must be replaced. The man remembers the neighbor downstairs who has an oxygen tank. The man, holding his breath, descends into the apartment, grabs a balloon and a breathing mask, goes to his daughter to calm her down and replace the battery. Having completed the mission, he decides to go outside.
There are many abandoned cars, bodies of dead people lie everywhere. On a nearby street, Mathieu meets the military, who are evacuating the surviving citizens. He refuses to go with them, but is given an oxygen mask for himself and his wife.
Frame from the film.
Back at the apartment, he realizes the situation is getting worse. The fog is rising, so you won’t be able to sit out for a long time. The couple decide to move Sarah to one of her friends – a boy who suffers from the same disease. The boy lives in the mountains, and his parents will be able to shelter them. However, Sarah needs transportation. This can be done only with the help of a special suit, which is located in the hospital where the girl is being treated.
The next day, leaving Sarah in the care of elderly spouses, our heroes go to the hospital. They manage to find one suit, but something explodes in the room, Mathieu’s balloon is damaged, and with Anna’s mask, they will not be able to get home. The couple decide to split up. Anna will go down the street, and her husband will try to get on the roofs.
Anna barely has enough air, and she runs to the top floor already having dropped the empty balloon. Here she notices that Sarah’s costume is also damaged by the explosion, and therefore useless. Another problem soon arises: the life support system of the capsule is practically de-energized. To replace the battery, the woman runs downstairs holding her breath. Anna saves her daughter, but dies in the fog before she can get back up.
Meanwhile, Mathieu, making his way across the rooftops, comes across a marauder’s lair. Here he finds a mask and an oxygen tank. A marauder in a police uniform tries to shoot him, but the man falls down with him. Here the criminal is suffocating in the fog. Mathieu runs home, where he finds his dead wife lying on the stairs.
The city is shaking from new shocks, the fog begins to rise rapidly higher. Mathieu saw a military suit on the street, and he is sure he can adapt it to transport his daughter to safety. Here he finds a moped on which he tries to return home, along with a suit. Suddenly, a teenager runs out onto the road, the hero twists the steering wheel, crashes into an abandoned car and hits his head.
Recovering, Mathieu sees his daughter and a friend, who are calmly walking through the fog. Sarah informs her father that they can safely breathe the poisoned air. The man hugs his daughter and loses consciousness. He comes to himself inside the capsule, fog is visible through the windows, and his daughter tells him on the radio that she will come now.
The meaning of the ending of the film Just a Breath Away is quite transparent. Now Mathieu becomes the “goldfish”. The world has changed, and now only people like Sarah can live there in peace. It is not known what caused such a strange cataclysm of nature, but the interpretation of the ending may be as follows. The planet decided to get rid of annoying people, leaving only a small part of the population necessary for the continuation of the human race.
Those few survivors are now forced to live in capsules: the surrounding air is deadly for them. So now Sarah has to take care of her father. This is the simplest and most logical explanation of the ending, without double interpretations. One can only guess what will happen next with the heroes of the film Just a Breath Away, but according to the meaning of the story, it can be concluded that the cataclysm that has happened will not end until people again overpopulate the earth.
The meaning of the film
The essence of the film Just a Breath Away is quite interesting. The hidden meaning here is that such cataclysms certainly occur with a certain periodicity. After each catastrophe, “goldfish” and ordinary people change places, which allows some higher powers or the planet itself to regulate the human population, while preventing complete extinction.
Having accepted this explanation, the general meaning becomes clear. We see everything that happens on the screen in a mirrored form. In fact, after the earthquake, it was time for Sarah and her friends. It is she who must now take care of her parents, who will live in a capsule. Unfortunately, the heroes of the film Just a Breath Away do not know this rule. They are trying with all their might to save their child, hoping that everything will end soon. In fact, the world has already collapsed and will never be the same again.
Frame from the film.
At the same time, in the plot itself there are quite a few clues that push precisely to this meaning. Just remember the dogs. Some of them died, but others continue to live in peace, breathing poisoned air. From this one could conclude that not all people die either. The paradox of the situation is that there is only one attempt to check this, and if it doesn’t work, then nothing will be fixed.
At the same time, the futility of people is very colorfully shown. Even on the brink of extinction, they riot and try to line their pockets. That is why humanity is doomed and unworthy of further existence. Now the world will belong to those who have not yet been spoiled by realities, having got used to their closed little world. This will continue until new people cross a certain line, beyond which another cataclysm will await them.
Movies similar to Just a Breath Away
- Haze (USA, 2007). A strange fog descends on a small town, in which terrible creatures live.
- Exit (South Korea. 2019). The rock climber, whom the family considers a complete loser, has to save his family from poisonous gas spreading through the city.
- Silence (Germany, 2019). The opening of an ancient cave by speleologists unleashes winged monsters that are rapidly spreading throughout the world, wreaking havoc and death.
- The Day After Tomorrow (USA, 2004). A new ice age is beginning on earth, in which a climate scientist will have to save his family.
- 2012 (USA. 2009). The planet is going through the last days, tsunamis and earthquakes are raging everywhere. In this chaos, the main characters need to get to the arks – the last hope of mankind.