Simon is a young surfer who has had a bad accident, leaving his parents with a terrible decision of whether to take him off life support. Clair is a mother of two teenage sons who is dying from degenerative heart disease and desperately requires a heart transplant. Tonight the lives of a group of people who had never met before are going to collide in a most unusual way.
HEAL THE LIVING is based on award winning novel by the French author Maylis De Kerangal. The book explores the philosophical dilemmas of organ donations. The film is focused on human drama, introducing us to everyone involved, including doctors, nurses, a negotiator for the organ donation program, the transporters and even the call centre staff.
There are no thrills. The simple story unravels little by little, but it is also complex in its simplicity. With its carefully designed visuals the handful of characters carry the story forward. We get a little story arc for each, even though most of the story lines don't have a firm closure, they are nicely woven into the plot.
HEAL THE LIVING is a slice of life drama that is deceptively simplistic, but carefully structured and executed with memorable performances, and an equally memorable soundtrack from Alexander Desplat, of Hollywood fame. This must be a good screen adaptation of the novel but some novels doesn't not translate well on screen. It is easy to lose the focus of the story, but it all makes sense in the end.
The film plays with the idea that life will always find a way and that the instinct for survival is a most natural one. It contemplates that, while for some the healing starts with restoring the physical health, for others giving the gift of life is the only way to heal.