TIFF 2023: “Nyad”

Rating: 4 out of 5.

One person’s belief in our dream is often the starting point, but at times, realizing that dream requires the support of many. Alongside the desire to bring our wishes to life, there often lurks a fear. Questions like, ‘Am I young enough? Am I not old enough for this?’ sow the seeds of self-doubt. However, the more we learn about fascinating individuals and their unwavering determination, the less we should question one’s capacity to fulfill their aspirations.

‘Screenplay,’ a screenplay by Julia Cox, and directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, tells an incredibly true story of Diana Nyad (played by Annette Bening). At the age of 64, she achieved what had eluded many before her—a swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage, a feat she had attempted and failed at four times previously. Despite these multiple setbacks, Nyad remained steadfast in pursuing her lifelong dream. She was joined by her best friend, Bonnie Stoll (portrayed by Jodie Foster), who provided training and unwavering support, ensuring Nyad was under constant watch. The journey was fraught with countless obstacles, tears, disappointments, and moments of despair. However, nothing could deter Nyad from completing her mission in this profoundly moving narrative.

Bringing together two of the most demanding and talented actors of their generation, Jodie Foster and Annette Bening, in the same movie felt akin to hitting the jackpot. Both actresses seamlessly embodied their real-life counterparts. Nyad and Bonnie’s inseparable bond was evident from the outset. However, it was Nyad’s haunting past, including her emotional and psychological trauma, that continued to affect her. Each failure only fueled her determination to try again, even when her physical readiness and mental fortitude wavered. Nevertheless, Nyad knew her heart’s desire—and, come what may, nothing and no one could prevent her from achieving it.

‘Nyad’ is a beautifully crafted autobiographical film that refrains from manipulating the audience’s emotions. A well-balanced narrative immerses viewers in the world of Bonnie and Nyad, inviting us to embark on their life-altering journey alongside them. It’s more than just an inspiring tale; it underscores the significance of dreaming big and persisting, irrespective of age. People may mock and judge, but their opinions should never dictate our decisions or challenge our unwavering commitment to what others deem impossible. Fortunately, Diana Nyad proves this and more, demonstrating that age is but a number for those who remain young at heart. Dreams are invaluable and should never be taken for granted.

%d bloggers like this: