Touched With Fire (Blu-ray)

June 1, 2016 5 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton and Matt Malouf

Plot: What’s it about?

I’ve never met anyone suffering with Bipolar disorder, but I know it can be a very troubling illness. Touched with Fire focuses on two characters who suffer with it, meet and eventually fall in love. Katie Holmes stars as Carla. She’s a poet, and she meets Marco (Luke Kirby) at a treatment facility. He’s also a poet, and the two hit it off rather quickly. I wanted to enjoy the film, but it lost me early on and never recovered. It grows not only preposterous as it goes along, but also repetitive.

A film like this dealing with characters suffering from an illness doesn’t seem like a winning formula, but in the right hands, it can work. One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest is one of my all-time favorite films. I think it has to do with the fact that it centered on characters that I didn’t mind following around for a couple hours. The biggest issue with Fire is that neither Carla nor Marco are the least bit interesting. They have an interest in poetry and astronomy, but they lack a real chemistry that’s needed for a film of this sort. We get many scenes of the two of them having outbursts and wandering off together, but I had a hard time caring about any of it. There are moments that show promise, such as when Carla wants to know about her life before the illness started, but they’re too few. Katie Holmes always takes a lot of heat, but she does a good job here. Luke Kirby is something of a mixed bag as he started to irritate me after a point. There might be a good movie to be made about characters suffering with Bipolar disorder, but this isn’t it.

Video: How does it look?

While not the most visually appealing film, the transfer serves it well enough. The print used is fine and free of debris and other issues. Colors are nice and smooth as well. There are some outdoor scenes that display strong details also. Background shots remained nice with no issues. Fans will be pleased with the results here.

Audio: How does it sound?

Since this is a mostly talky affair, don’t expect too much from the rear channels. Still, there weren’t any noticeable issues, either. Vocals remained fine and clear. There is some background chatter on occasion. The volume kicks up a bit during a few scenes, such as when one of the characters throws a temper tantrum or has a breakdown. The track serves the film well.

Supplements: What are the extras?

  • The Making of Touched with Fire – Countdown in 3..2..1…your obligatory “Making of…” featurette with some interviews with the cast and crew. Actually it’s not all that bad, just so like everything we’ve seen before.
  • Audio Commentary – Writer/Director Paul Dalio and Producer/Director of Photography Kristina Nikolova collaborate for a fairly chatty track. I really do like Dalio’s energy throughout the track and though there are some rather bland spots, I found this insightful and informative and never really lagging in the least.
  • A Conversation with Paul Dalio and Dr. Kay Jamison – Director Paul Dalio and author/Psychologist Dr. Kay Jamison sit down for a fairly candid discussion about her novel, its adaptation and some of the themes discussed in the film.
  • Deleted Scene – Not offering that much, this is the lone deleted scene from the film. I’d have personally liked to have seen it in, but I don’t make that call now, do I?
  • Photo Gallery – A collection of stills from the movie.

The Bottom Line

The film certainly has its heart in the right place, but there’s little here of interest. The characters are flawed and real, but just not that interesting. I didn’t care to spend much more time with them. It doesn’t help that the pacing is sluggish and the film becomes repetitive. Skip it.

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