By Mark Saldana

Rating: 4 (Out of 4 Stars)

This excellent romantic drama portrays the highs and lows that occur when two people with manic-depression attempt to maintain a stable relationship.  Katie Holmes stars as Carla, a talented writer who struggles with the disorder because it fuels her creativity.  After a particularly intense manic episode, she ends up in a psychiatric hospital where she meets Marco (Luke Kirby), another talented writer who refuses to stay on his medication for the same reasons.  The two poets begin a passionate and exciting romance, but the mania that adds fire to their relationship can also do them some serious harm.

Written and directed by Paul Dalio, this beautiful and heartbreaking movie truly touched my heart.  With extraordinary writing, direction and performances by the leads, Touched with Fire takes the audience on an exciting journey through fun times and takes a sobering and melancholic turn when examining  the disturbing moments that come with the mental health disorder.  The movie gets fun and exciting when the two leads are on fire and passionate about one another, but the reality of their disorder soon hits home when the film portrays the inevitable ugly dark side of the illness.  Dalio has made a realistic, fascinating, and overall outstanding film about a mental health disorder about which more people need more knowledge and information.


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