Addiction is a disease that has plagued families for generations. While some may be able to see the lighter side of the spectrum (think SHAMELESS) many know the devastating impact it has. One of the films at this years Chattanooga film festival is the darken spiral drama BREATHING HAPPY. One part TAXI DRIVER one part A CHRISTMAS CAROL and all dread. Shane Brady takes us on a defecting journey as we watch one man look to prove himself that he is beyond his addictions. Though as the saying goes "just when you think you are out, they keep dragging you back in".
BREATHING HAPPY stars Shane Brady as well. He plays Dylan the son in a family of adoption and hope. Like many kids in that world he succumbs to a life of drugs and through a kaleidoscope of visuals and mind bending montages we get the full perception of his upbringing. The family dynamic cannot be overlooked in this feature as like many similar stories the ones you love suffer the most. Kudos to Brady for allowing the film to "breathe" as what could seem like chaos is actually a pretty straight forward watch. The ghosts of addictions past seem to be a driving force throughout the film with almost a Kubrick styled approach. BREATHING HAPPY is tension based drama so don't expect any blood fueled rage scenes here. There is a strong character driven story that is so relatable that it's hard to refrain from what's next for our lead. This is a standout from most of the films in the festival but does continue the over theme of human sacrifice and regret.
I personally really enjoyed BREATHING EASY as it held back no punches on what a recovering addict goes through. By adding the almost OUTER LIMITS way of storytelling gave a crisp genre charm. Hopefully enough press will be given on the film as it's one that can easily be passed up by genre fans. Only time will tell. Those who see it will undoubtedly be trapped into this weird holiday drama wishing for the best of anyone going through Dylan's situation.
BREATHING HAPPY is directed and stars Shane Brady.
It also stars June Carryl, Augie Duke and Hugh Scott.