Ridley Elevates Meditative Drama [Sundance]

Feb 15, 2023

Home Movie Reviews Sometimes I Think About Dying Review: Ridley Elevates Meditative Drama [Sundance]

Anchored by strong performances from Daisy Ridley & Dave Merheje, the film has pacing issues, but it’s emotionally resonant, humorous, and relatable.

Daisy Ridley in Sometimes I Think About Dying

These days it feels like we’re more connected than ever before — be it through Zoom calls, social media, or texting and FaceTime, it’s easy to simply reach out to anyone at any point. And yet, the feeling of disconnection is also very real, leaving people craving connection but not knowing how to get it, or what it might entail when it does happen. Directed by Rachel Lambert, Sometimes I Think About Dying tackles this very subject with mixed results. Anchored by strong performances from Daisy Ridley and Dave Merheje, the film has pacing issues, but it’s emotionally resonant, humorous, and relatable.

The film follows Fran (Daisy Ridley), an office employee who diligently works from her cubicle every day, watching life as it goes by. She’s seemingly uninterested in engaging with her coworkers’ mundane conversations, separating herself both mentally and physically from them. Fran often thinks about dying, envisioning herself on the forest floor, her dead body covered in vegetation, or being lifted by a crane. Fran seems destined to continue down this route, a routine she’s become accustomed to in her quiet life — until Robert (Dave Merheje), a new guy at work, starts interacting with her, bringing to the surface her hidden desire for connection.

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Sometimes I Think About Dying starts off fairly slow, and it takes a while for it to pick up. But when it does, the film, written by Kevin Armento, Stefanie Abel Horowitz, and Katy Wright-Mead, is a thoughtful look into the need for human connection, and what it looks like when it’s awakened for the first time in a long time. Fran’s convinced herself that she’s uninteresting, and thus builds a wall around herself. What the film nails are the feelings of being too good for the daily and monotonous interactions with others, while also wanting to feel seen and connected to someone.

This is showcased wonderfully through Fran’s time with Robert. She shifts between wanting to hang out with him and being interested in his life to being guarded and afraid to truly show herself, perhaps afraid of rejection or to be disliked for revealing certain things she’s kept to herself. Ridley’s performance speaks to the nuances of Fran’s interactions with Robert. Ridley carries the movie, and she does a lovely job bringing audiences into Fran’s mindset through her body language, mannerisms, and line delivery. Equally wonderful is Merheje as Robert, who is interested in Fran, but careful and hesitant in his interactions with her as he works to understand her. The pair is great together and Merheje’s comedic timing brings out the best in their onscreen relationship.

Sometimes I Think About Dying also tackles sadness and loneliness in a way that allows insight into Fran’s world. Though there could have been a bit more of an inner exploration of Fran’s feelings, the film combines plenty of lightheartedness and humor with its overarching darkness, with Lambert bringing balance to the heavy and long stretches of silence that linger throughout. The film finds its sense of humor in the daily routines of people — from brewing coffee to making small talk with coworkers, these moments show the absurdity of life’s minutiae while also displaying how these very actions have deeper meaning of people trying to reach out to others in their own way.

If nothing else, Sometimes I Think About Dying is hindered by its slow pacing. The film takes its time getting to the heart of its story, leaning in with too much setup at the start. It doesn’t derail the film, but it does require patience before viewers are rewarded with the beautiful, heartfelt, and refreshing story at its core.

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Sometimes I Think About Dying premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival on January 19. The film is 91 minutes long and not yet rated.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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