“No Limit” is beautiful underwater but shallow above. The actual story could have been a captivating watch, but it only became interesting in the last few minutes. Roxana Aubrey’s character failed to make an impact; she has a tragic past, but we never get to know her in her entirety. The film is visually stunning, but it doesn’t invoke the multitude of emotions that one might experience upon seeing what led to the tragic death of freediver Audrey Mestre.
Plot Summary: What is the movie about?
As a child, Roxana went to the beach with her grandfather, who taught her to dive. The peace and tranquility that she experienced underwater was incomparable with worldly pleasures. She studied to be a marine biologist in college. One day, she noticed a poster of the world famous freediver, Pascal Gautier, who would be giving diving lessons to those interested. Without thinking twice, she Roxana paid the course fee and arrived at the venue on time. There she met Tom, a diving instructor who worked with Pascal. The two shared unmissable chemistry on the first day of school, but the moment Roxana set eyes on Pascal, she knew who she wanted. Pascal had an incredible pain tolerance capacity, so he could withstand pressure and dive deep into the water. His calm and ability impressed Roxana, and she couldn’t take her eyes off him during dinner after the practice session. Pascal was a womanizer. Even with his girlfriend by his side, he continued to flirt with Roxana. They kissed passionately in the bathroom, and when he returned, his girlfriend broke up with him.
Pascal taught Roxana the techniques to stay underwater. Her shared passion for diving brought them closer together. Roxana felt at peace in Pascal’s presence, and she wouldn’t trade it for the world. She soon joined Pascal’s team in a practice session. From day one she understood how risky the profession was. While Pascal was aiming to set a world record by diving 172 meters underwater, his team was spread out over several levels to monitor him. Although Pascal managed to complete the dive safely, one of his team members lost his life. Stephane, a member of the team, blamed Pascal for sending the rookie 40 meters down. The team needed a new member and Roxana stepped in to fill the position. Stephane was against her, knowing how risky it could be for her, but Pascal trusted Roxana’s ability. He believed that she was natural and could easily adapt. Roxana learned the security protocol and prepared to help Pascal. On the day of the event, Pascal successfully dove 172m and the team celebrated the new world record. Roxana was on top of the world. She had never felt so alive. She informed her mother that she would be leaving her studies to accompany Pascal on her journey. Her mother did not support her decision, but she refused to listen to her advice. A few days after setting a new world record, another freediver managed to descend 174m. Pascal had to compete now and was aiming for 176m. But this time, luck was not on his side. He fainted and the doctor advised him to stop diving. Pascal wasn’t about to give up and Roxana couldn’t change his mind, knowing how passionate he was about her profession. While taking a break, he introduced Roxana to the world of freediving. She soon set a new record for French women by diving 56m in the CWF category. The media celebrated her achievement and Pascal watched her from a distance. “No Limit” traces the relationship between Pascal and Roxana. A romance that soon turned sour as a result of envy and mistrust.
Explanation of the ending of ‘No Limit’: Who was responsible for Roxana’s death?
Pascal could not accept defeat when a woman created another new world record. He was determined to dive 180m and create a new record, but his team and the organizers knew he was not fit enough to do it. As Roxana rose to fame, Pascal could feel her importance slipping away. Roxana looked at him; he was her lover and her mentor, but she could no longer bear the celebration. He was proud of Roxana but disappointed in himself. He went so far as to state that he would be happy to see her set the new world record rather than allow anyone else to do so. It was important for him to be involved either as a participant or as a coach.
Roxana could feel the growing distance between her and Pascal. She often left her at night and she was left alone. Roxana’s childhood was not easy. Her father committed suicide as a result of depression when she was 12 years old. She always wondered why her father left her and little by little she became obsessed with the idea of death. She attempted suicide hoping to join her father, but her grandfather saved her life. We get a glimpse of how Roxana had been searching for the meaning of her existence, and it was only after meeting Pascal that she realized who she was meant to be. She emphasized how important Pascal was in his life and how trophies and titles were worthless without him in his life. But he didn’t feel the same. He wasn’t about to give up. For him, the competition mattered more than what he shared with Roxana. He decided that Roxana would compete in the no limit category even though his entire team thought it was a bad idea, but Roxana accepted the challenge. While she was training to prove Pascal right, he cheated on her. Roxana soon found out about her affair and sought solace from Tom.
The next morning, she decided to leave Pascal, but he was adamant about not letting her go. She broke the mirror with her fist and Roxana couldn’t help but sympathize with him. Later, during their training session, Pascal read a text message Tom sent to Roxana and found out about her relationship. At a press conference, Roxana noticed the woman Pascal cheated with in the audience. Looking at him, she knew that he never made amends and she abruptly left the conference. She kept to herself, and she could feel the loneliness creeping in again.
The next day, Roxana was ready to compete in the No Limit category and go down 180m to create a new world record. Pascal talked to Tom and informed him that although they had some setbacks, she was still counting on him. Pascal went over to Roxana to spend a few minutes with her, but realized that she no longer cared about him. Tom noticed that Pascal was checking the air tanks before the dive. A few seconds before Roxana submerged, Pascal planted a kiss on her lips. She dove to 180 m, but when she tried to open the valve on the air tank to inflate the lifting bag, he noticed that it was not working. The cylinder was devoid of air, which prevented it from rising quickly to the surface. Though Tom tried to fill up the tank, it wasn’t enough to pull her up that fast. She was supposed to stay under the water for three minutes, but she stayed there for more than eight minutes. He realized that it was a futile attempt to revive himself; her body couldn’t take any more. He heard the whale sing and, in the calm depths, he lost consciousness. By the time her security team dove in to save her, it was too late. She was pronounced dead upon reaching the surface. When police questioned the team, no one revealed any knowledge of what went wrong. Though Tom knew that Pascal had a role to play in Roxana’s death, as he was last seen manning the air tank lift bag. As Tom was about to enter the airport, he noticed Pascal watching him from a distance.
Pascal was involved in Roxana’s death. He maybe he couldn’t tolerate her indifference and wanted revenge on her. He knew that she could leave him, and he would no longer be responsible for her success. That could also be a reason for him to end his life. “No Limit” is dedicated to Audrey Mestre, who lost her life in similar circumstances.
Is ‘No Limits’ based on a true story?
“No Limits” is loosely based on the tragic death of Audrey Mestre, an up-and-coming freediver. The film maintains that it is a work of fiction and that not everything shown is based on reality. The death of Audrey Mestre was similar to that of Roxana, as the film shows. Audrey was a talented freediver who was trained by her husband, Francisco Ferreras, a popular figure in the diving world. It is said that on the day of the final Mestre dive, Ferreras was responsible for the air tank lift bag. Its dysfunction gave rise to a series of controversies blaming Ferreras for his death. Freediving safety standards were not maintained and the organization responsible for them was underfunded. There were two security divers and no doctors to attend to Mestre when she was brought ashore. She had a pulse and could have been saved if a medical team had been available.
The gross negligence that led to his death sparked massive outrage, although Mestre’s family chose not to investigate the case. Francisco Ferreras maintained his innocence. We will never know what happened on October 12, 2002. It may be a strained relationship coupled with a lack of safety equipment that led to the loss of an extraordinary freediver. Supposedly, Audrey was lonely before her last dive. The video of Audrey’s final dive that exists on the internet is chilling and heartbreaking. At the age of 28, Mestre left too soon.
Limitless is a 2022 thriller drama directed by David M. Rosenthal.