“Five Feet Apart” movie review

“Five Feet Apart” celebrates its second annual anniversary of its release

Sophia Considine, Editor-In-Chief

Human touch, the first form of communication according to Stella Grant, connects people in the happy, scary and loving times, but Stella never understood the true feeling and meaning of it because of the biggest, baddest monster in her life: cystic fibrosis.

“Five Feet Apart” is a film released on Mar. 15, 2019 based on the book of the same name by Rachael Lippincott which centers around the two patients Stella Grant, played by Haley Lu Richardson and Will Newman, played by Cole Sprouse, who battle cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis is a very rare genetic disorder in which the lungs and digestive system get clogged with mucus with no known cure; if two people have cystic fibrosis, they cannot be within six feet of one another due to the danger of contaminating each other and increasing chances of death. That struggle applies to Stella and Will when they find themselves falling in love.

The acting, music, camera work and script put together gave an amazing performance to draw in the audience and keep them hooked. 

In the beginning of the movie, both Richardson and Sprouse establish their characters by using certain tones of voice, movements and facial expressions that consistently keep their character throughout the movie and engross the audience. A personal favorite moment in the acting takes place in the second half when Richardson’s character Stella gives her “five feet apart” speech in rebellion of the “six foot rule,” which shares an intense and passionate side of the character. The first interaction between Stella and Will consists of banter and silly back-and-forths, but it also foreshadows the characters’ struggle when the nurse comes in and says to Stella, “if you contract that, you can kiss new lungs goodbye. Stay away,” which engages watchers with the characters’ lives.

In addition to the acting, the choice of music throughout the film steadily sets the right tone of each scene, cluing in the audience on how they should feel right then and how the characters feel right then.

When watching a film, little things like hand-held camera work sometimes escape notice, but if used correctly like it was in this movie, the hand-held camera work adds an edge of reality, especially in distressing, concerning or mundane scenes. Also, at one point in the movie, it flips through scenes of Stella and Will hanging out together and each transition from scene to scene creates a fun and silly atmosphere by having the camera move up and down and left and right to make it seem like a swiping motion.

This silly, tear-jerking, love-filled, heart-wrenching movie mirrors the book of the same name almost exactly with only the ending taking a drastically different turn.

“Five Feet Apart” tugs on the heartstrings with the parallel quote from the very beginning and very end of the film that Stella says as follows: “Human touch. Our first form of communication, safety, security, comfort—all in the gentle caress of a finger or the brush of lips on a soft cheek. It connects us when we’re happy, bolsters us in times of fear, excites us in times of passion. We need that touch from the one we love almost as much as we need air to breathe, but I never understood the importance of touch, is touch, until I couldn’t have it. So if you’re watching this and you’re able: touch him. Touch her. Life’s too short to waste a second.”

Because of the emotional rollercoaster, varying camera work and great music, “Five Feet Apart” rates five out of five lungs.