Everyone's Going To Die


Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Everyone's Going To Die
"The film works as a marriage between the sometimes absurd scripting and the skilfully understated acting."

The feature debut from directing duo Jones is, in contrast to the urban thriller you might expect from the title, a blackly comic little number with a decent dollop of romance. It recalls the quirky end of the US indie market populated by the likes of Richard Linklater, Alex Holdridge and Azazel Jacobs - with whose TheGoodTimesKid this would make an excellent double bill.

Melanie (Nora Tschirner) and Ray (Rob Knighton) are a bit lost and not just geographically. In fact bereavement, with regards to family and sense of self is embedded deeply in the narrative. Both characters are aliens after a fashion. Melanie is a German intent on building her life in Britain, but with a fiance who seems a light-year away even when she is talking to him on the phone, while Ray finds himself in her sleepy seaside environs when he arrives in Folkstone to attend his brother's funeral and take care of a spot of less-than-savoury business.

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They meet by chance in a greasy spoon and strike up a conversation, somehow sensing common ground despite their differences - she is young, forthright and only vaguely aware of her own unfocussed unhappiness, while he is older, taciturn, world weary and all too well-versed in the source of his own discontent. We follow them across the course of a day as their lives intersect and the possibility of change starts to creep up on them like sea over sand. Shot with a bleached beauty by up-and-comer Dan Stafford Clark, the film may be drenched in melancholy but it never becomes maudlin thanks to a sparky script that is thoughtful, unforced and surprisingly funny.

The film works as a marriage between the sometimes absurd scripting and the skilfully understated acting - a moment, for example, when Ray finds himself attempting to have a conversation with the cat which his sister-in-law believes to be the reincarnation of his brother becomes simultaneously comic, horrifying and oddly poignant courtesy of Knighton's finely tuned performance. The decision to include a note of surrealism, however, when we sometimes see characters through Ray's eyes, is an embellishment too far in a film which works best in its quieter moments, when Jones trust their actors to deliver and are rewarded handsomely.

Knighton, at 50, may be coming late to the acting game but he makes a big impact here - it's to be hoped that his imposing look and London brogue don't see him relegated to hardman roles, as he has the range for so much more. Tschirner, meanwhile, who is already carving a name for herself in her homeland, is likely to pick up a lot more English language work on the strength of this. As for Jones, they show talent for both a lasting visual image and carefully crafted dialogue - expect to hear a lot more from them.

Reviewed on: 09 Aug 2013
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A world weary criminal and a young German emigre forge an unlikely friendship.
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Director: Jones

Starring: Nora Tschirner, Rob Knighton, Kellie Shirley, Madeline Duggan, Stirling Gallacher

Year: 2013

Runtime: 83 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: UK


EIFF 2013

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