Love and mania and the love of mania -- these are some of the powerful themes explored in this gritty movie about bipolar states of being. The fine script inspired solid performances from the lead and supporting cast alike. They wanted to make this movie and gave it everything they had to tease out the difficult material that was presented in this film. It will probably not be to everyone's taste but if you are looking for a movie that challenges you to examine what society calls 'mental illness' and how that label affects those thus labeled and the difficult relationships that these people have with those who love them most, "Touched with Fire" is definitely a show that you want to check out.
It would be too depressing to make a movie that hews too close to reality when it comes to the bipolar mind because an unwatchable tragedy just seems inevitable; "Touched with Fire" takes the audience close to where they would turn away but manages to inject enough hope to keep you going. And that is the central tension in the film -- a glimmer of hope when all appears to be lost. Many people would disagree and say that this picture is too depressing, but I tend to think that these people want movies to narcotize them with a massive dose of feel-goodism.
Otherwise, for the few grown ups out there, this movie is worthy of your time.
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