Keep Breathing review – Melissa Barrera delivers in surface-level but exciting survival drama

By Daniel Hart
Published: July 28, 2022 (Last updated: 4 weeks ago)
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Keep Breathing is not a groundbreaking project, but its mental health themes and storytelling make it easy to recommend.

This review of the Netflix limited series Keep Breathing, starring Melissa Barrera, does not contain spoilers.

I am a firm believer in manifestation. Whether it’s a negative idea or a positive, strong will, the universe drives the path your way if you think about it long enough. Keep Breathing, a Netflix limited series, understands the concept of manifestation rather well. Melissa Barrera (Scream (2022), In the Heights) plays a workaholic and highly talented lawyer, Liv, who finds herself surviving a plane crash, betting against the wilderness and rocky mountains to stay alive.

On the surface, Keep Breathing is a survival drama, as Liv has to perform Castaway-level objectives to stay alive and reach a safe destination where she can be found. This is merged with plentiful flashbacks and hallucinations that build up the development of the character. This is where it gets interesting.

In reality, the survival series embodies emotional avoidance and trauma. The seemingly innocent lawyer has a confusing past that tears her apart in the present. Melissa Barrera sells the character by showing the encapsulation of a person who uses emotional avoidant tactics and disassociation throughout her career-driven life to keep steel-hearted.

Liv’s survival game is essentially a healing journey. Being in the unknown allows the character to question her life. From childhood to the anguish of a potentially intense romance as an adult, Keep Breathing understands the human condition. It understands how the make-up of our being, spirit, and energy is fleshed out from childhood well into adulthood. The Netflix series is an outlook of the modern-day adult dealing with mental health issues, coated in a survival-like drama.

And I was sold. Yes, the series is rather surface-level and on-the-nose. Yes, it offers nothing new in terms of human survival. However, the heart of the story is meaningful. It is coupled with exciting action as Liv has to figure out how to keep well-nourished and have a sense of direction in the womb of a mountainous forest.

In six 30-minute chapters, Keep Breathing does not attempt to overbear the audience with ample of subplots. That wouldn’t have worked. Focusing on the individuality of the character makes this a surprisingly charming drama that amounts to a worthy binge session. Melissa Barrera sells the modern adult, struck by the lack of technology, doomed by the perils of life-threatening nature.

While some will grumble at the lack of depth, the creators (Martin Gero and Brendan Gall) keep the premise on beat and simple. And that’s all it needs. For three hours, audiences can escape and revel in the lead character’s demise.

Keep Breathing is not a groundbreaking project, but its mental health themes and storytelling make it easy to recommend.

What do you think of the Netflix limited series Keep Breathing? Comment below. 

You can watch this series with a subscription to Netflix. 

Netflix, Streaming Service, TV Reviews
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