Everybody Dies… Sometimes is a great dark comedy from Charlotte Hamblin that focuses on the fears we all have about death. Hamblin’s film leaves a strong impression on you; with her being a filmmaker, we need to see more of.
Mara has a problem, a pretty serious one, really. People around her that she begins to get close to, from family members to therapists, die not long after. She firmly believes she is the connection and desperately needs to find a solution.
Everybody Dies… Sometimes tackles that horrible sense of dread and anxiety that people reach in their late 20s to 30s. You start to see people you grew up with passing away. It could be grandparents, aunts and uncles, even neighbours. Slowly, that circle you have known all your life begins to thin down, sometimes quite dramatically. For example, I am one of the youngest grandchildren in my family, so death has just existed from an early age for me. My parents passed away before I was 33, all my grandparents were gone, and multiple aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends passed away; you start to inadvertently look inward.
Your anxiety heightens about death, and while usually it zones in on your own death (the inevitable “am I next”), In Charlotte Hamblin’s film, this anxiety comes through in a different, but all too relatable manner. Mara thinks she is the curse to those she cares for. Her mere presence is enough to strike that poor soul off the Earth. Her therapist is obviously sceptical, but it brings around an interesting discussion. As her psychiatrist states, everyone dies eventually, so instead of us looking at whether Mara is cursed, is she, like the rest of us, cursed? Are we condemned to watch those we love and care for dearly pass on when their time comes?
To be hurt again and again is hard to accept. When Mara reveals something to her therapist, her anxiety makes even more sense and one that you fully understand. Writer-director Hamblin has created an entertaining and very engaging as Hamblin crosses upon the fear of death and the loss of childhood to those that experience death around them at a very young age. Mara has lost many people before she even reached her teenage years, so all of that loss has taken its toll on the young woman.
Tanya Reynolds is superb as the struggling Mara, a woman with the most challenging of internal struggles going on within her mind. Despite losing part of her childhood, she brings a lightness to her character despite all the grimness around her. By the time we get to the main reason for her visit, your heart bleeds for her. She needs reassurance, a hand on her shoulder that she is confident will be there for her. It’s a strong performance that can bring in the comedy of Hamblin’s script with the severe fear that many of us have (whether we like to admit it or not).
Hamblin’s cuts back to Mara’s childhood are a visual delight as we see those around her leave or be found on the ground. She introduces some sharp cuts to really jolt the audience and immerse us into Mara’s history. By keeping everything visually light, we are given a grand juxtaposition of what has happened to Mara and how she is trying to still see things in her mind. It’s eye-opening and telling as it explains her current mindset. By tempting us with her premise and opening, Hamblin, with the help of the fantastic Reynolds, manages to hook us in emotionally with Everybody Dies… Sometimes, it leaves us content that Mara is going to be okay by the time the credits roll.
he Bolton International Film Festival is running physically from October 4th – 8th and Online from the 11th – 22nd October. For more information please click here.
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