Friday, September 9, 2022

No Limit: Movie Review

A beautifully produced tale of love and tragedy in the world of freediving.
A based on a true story romantic drama that goes much darker than expected. No Limit is about Roxana (Camille Rowe) a new-comer to the sport of freediving as she falls in love with champion Pascal (Sofiane Zermani). It starts exactly as expected; a movie that combines the beauty of ocean diving with sex. A simple description which fits the movie – both the beginning and the end – surprisingly well.   2022

Directed by: David M. Rosenthal

Screenplay by: David M. Rosenthal

Starring: Camille Rowe, Sofiane Zermani, and César Domboy

Roxana is a college student looking to find something new in life and signs up for freediving classes. Freediving is a real sport, essentially holding your breath descending in water, but I don’t think it’s a sport that you can actually make a living out of, so how all of these people have jobs is beyond me. Considering the film is based on a true story it definitely could have used a few more facts to help connect it to real life. It often feels very surreal, which is the main aesthetic the film is going for, but that does create an odd disconnect for the ‘based on a true story’ aspect.

Tom (César Domboy) is one of the freediving coaches who falls for Roxana on first sight. Meanwhile Pascal is one of those guys who sleeps with any and all women he can and he chooses Roxana. It is a very sexy movie. The romance is not their relationship, the romance is lustfulness. Tom being the nice guy that he is remains a coach and part of the safety team helping both Roxana and Pascal. Pascal though is an extremely toxic man, one who throws fits if somebody else is going to beat his world record and throws even bigger hissy fits if that someone is a woman. He manipulates Roxana into believing everything he does is out of love and respect for her. It’s obvious that Pascal only loves himself and sex with anybody. The film could have used a bit more backstory for Roxana to explain why she so easily fell in love with an asshole.

The freediving parts of the movie, which is most of it, are beautifully photographed. This is a visually arresting film with gorgeous scenery and a score that both fits the beauty and a sense of foreboding darkness. There is really nice cinematography of both the ocean scenes and the rest of the story that unfolds on land – Roxana falling in love with Pascal and her unsuccessful attempts to break-free of his hold on her.

No Limit is a much darker more tragic movie than I saw coming, but I really appreciate the fact that it’s about something more than just love and diving. There’s an inconclusiveness to the ending which works really well with the characters and the final scenes of the main characters speak volumes for how they want us to feel. The story feels lacking at times especially in the middle but the ending is moving and thought-provoking and it’s ultimately a beautifully produced film.