A fast-paced film that is intense, uneasy, and weirdly freeing to watch. A strong story with a sad ending.
This review of the Netflix film No Limit does not contain spoilers or any significant plot points.
No Limit (also known as Sous Emprise) is a sports-drama-romance movie written and directed by David M. Rosenthal and stars Camille Rowe and Sofiane Zermani, who play the roles of the two best free-drivers, living legends in their field, navigating their toxic yet steamy love affair whilst breaking world records in the sport. With a runtime of one hour and fifty-eight minutes, this film is loosely based on the life of the French freediver Audrey Mestre.
The story surrounds Roxana/Roxy (Camille Rowe) who drops out of her studies and leaves her life in Paris to take a freediving course in the beautiful south of France. (What better or more romantic place to do so?) Here she falls in love with her teacher and world champion freediver Pascal Gauthier (Sofiane Zermani). Now they must not only navigate the extreme sport but navigate their intense feelings.
As the story continues Pascal has a medical condition that causes him to step aside from diving. He decides to mentor Roxy and make her his lover and project. Will he be okay with his love interest shining in the spotlight and breaking his records or will he turn on her? Eventually, he emotionally manipulates her into taking on the biggest free dive competition, the No Limit, when she probably isn’t ready, to take his place as he cannot. Will this end in disaster?
There is a fast pace to this film, with a lot of action, drama, and hot sex scenes. It goes hard and deep in the first half of the film, throwing a lot at the viewer, but it takes a long time for us to learn about both our protagonists other than surface-level information, which makes it difficult to build a connection or relate to the characters. Saying this, the acting chemistry is high and they are able to portray a toxic relationship that mirrors their free-diving — dangerous yet exciting.
The cinematography gives us some intense filming in the water; the shots are not messy and don’t distract from the acting. I also learned a lot about the sport of free diving in this film — it’s fascinating to think this is what people are training for and are capable of. Being slightly afraid of the deep sea myself, this is nerve-wracking to watch. Especially the final scenes.
Overall this film is a really good watch. It’s an emotionally and sexually charged story about navigating feelings, careers, personal issues, and toxic relationships. With a hard-hitting, sad ending, it takes a turn I didn’t want to be true. Whilst I enjoyed the film, I was left feeling underwhelmed, as I didn’t get the empowering ending I was hoping for. However, it’s still worth the watch.
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