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Inhale - Review

Inhale

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

BALTASAR Kormákur’s Inhale is a fast paced thriller that combines ethical and moral dilemmas with issues ripped straight from the headlines.

The issue in question is organ trafficking, which according to the chilling statistics that book-end the film, is rife and often backed by those in the know.

Dermot Mulroney and Diane Kruger play a couple of parents faced with the worst imaginable race against time scenario because their young daughter is suffering from a debilitating lung condition and requires a donor fast.

With time rapidly against them, Mulroney’s bullish, morally astute prosecutor Paul Stanton learns of the possibility of paying for them south of the border, so heads into Mexico in a bid to find the doctor who can help.

What he finds instead is an edgy, crime ridden city where no one can be trusted and his life is constantly in danger. And that’s even before he’s faced with the cold hard reality of the world he has entered.

Kormakur, who previously directed 101 Reykjavík and Jar City, adopts a highly stylised approach to the film that’s part docu-real and part Soderbergh-esque (think Traffic), as well as a brisk pace that’s guaranteed to keep viewers alert.

He also adopts a split narrative, intercutting scenes of Paul’s time in Mexico with flashbacks showing his reasons for heading there.

In doing so, he draws a highly credible performance from Mulroney as the desperate father and a sympathetic one from Kruger, both of which tap into the desperation and complexity of the choices they face.

If only the same care and attention had been given to some of the supporting characters… for Inhale is let down by some contrived plotting, one too many stereotyped characters and some unecessarily sensationalist twists that do a dis-service to the issue at hand.

That said, a hard-hitting, even shocking finale does ensure the message behind the film lands with a forceful blow, enabling viewers to emerge with the right impression. For that and the leading performances alone, it remains worth seeing.

Certificate: 15
Running time: 83mins
UK DVD & Blu-ray Release: August 1, 2011