This upcoming movie is about illegal organ harvesting. It may not matter that the movie is well-written, or that it’s a creatively produced and a thriller. Dermot Mulroney plays the father of the ill child brilliantly. Yet, a box office movie about organ harvesting just may not sit well with audiences. It’s not a comfortable subject.
The director is Baltasar Kormakur of Iceland and director of both “101 Rykjavik” and “Jar City.” In this new movie release he has combined documentary style filmmaking with fiction. His intent is to expose the practice of the sale of organs such as kidneys, lungs, heart to western patients who can afford them.
There are some scenes in “Inhale” that are gratuitous. Do we need to see close-ups of a child dying, the suturing of a wound or the removal of lungs from a live patient?
Cinematographer Ottar Gudnason has shot the film in New Mexico and drains away a lot of the color, leaving everything looking black and gray. The scenes move from the desert to Santa Fe to the miserable streets of Ciudad Juarez, across the Mexican border. The music, by James Newton Howard, also enhances the dark feeling of this one of the movies coming soon.
Mulroney plays Paul Chaney, Santa Fe D.A. He’s on his way to court with a case that’s very unpopular with the Santa Fe Latino community. Sam Shepard plays his friend James Harrison who’s running for governor. He tells Chaney that this kind of case is bad publicity for a guy who may one day run for office. Meanwhile, Chaney and his wife Diane (played by Diane Kruger) are in a race with time to find a lung donor for their daughter, played by Mia Stallard.
Walter Doty and John Clafin’s screenplay does an excellent job keeping this thriller gripping. It’s from a story by Christian Escario. Paul hears that he might be able to procure a lung in Juarez and ventures across the border into a notoriously crime-infested city.
It’s very intense in Juarez. As daughter Chloe becomes sicker, Paul meets people who might save her life but are truly human monsters. There’s a Dr. Novarro but you don’t know if he is real, or if he’s really the chief of police, played by Jordi Molla, or a kind ER doctor, played by Vincent Perez.
Then there are the gangs in the streets. There are the child gangs led by Kristyan Ferrer. They carry guns and have ways of getting money from a white guy on the streets. And there are the older gangs who think nothing of beating a stranger to death.
The final scene is almost unbearable. Chaney has to make a decision that no father should ever have to make. The writers give him no easy out. The story of the illegal sale of human organs is well documented in this movie that will make audiences very uneasy.