THIS FILM'S title refers to the ''six foot rule'' a guideline which states that cystic fibrosis patients should be kept at least six feet from each other, to lower the risk of cross-infection.

A silver lining to a dark cloud makes a good visual, a melodramatic and depressing romance makes attractive viewing, which ''Five Feet Apart'' with its message : ''Life is too short to waste a second''.

Set in hospital, it is the story of  two terminally ill teenagers - Stella Grant [Halay Lu Richardson] and Will Newman [Cole Sprouse] - suffering from cystic fibrosis, who fall in love despite never be able to come closer than, you've guessed it, five feet from another.

Stella with a bit of  obsessive compulsive disorder and waiting for a lung transplant is exasperated by brooding artist  Will's  lack of discipline and apparent lack of motivation when he is put on a new trial drug meant to battle his illness.

How they break the barriers and fall in love, is what keeps you glued to the screen.

The narrative is mostly designed to Haley. She, with a stoic resilience, is bang-on in delivering Stella's  bravura facade or manoeuvring through Stella's grief and survivor's guilt over the recent death of her older sister in an accident.

On the other hand, Cole with his tousled  hair and carpe diem attitude seems limited in his offering, but nevertheless, he is charming and there is no denying that both  Cole and Haley  manage to deliver fine performances as two star-crossed lovers. madly in love with one-another, unable to live together or apart.

But the actors, who make their presence felt are Mpoises Arias as their witty gay friend Poe and Kimberly Herbert Greogry in a stereotypical role of a strict nurse Barb. They have their moments of on-screen glory.

Written by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Laconis, the film presents a jarring;y formulaic and trope heavy plot which requires a fair amount of suspension of disbelief to even contemplate going with the cringe-worthy mushy romance.

Also the dialogues are mundane, sample this :
''Nothing is going to save our lives, we are breathing borrowed air'', or  ''My sickness, is my problem'', ''It's complicated and hard to explain'' and ''To understand death you need to understand birth.'' [Courtesy Zee News].


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