Everyone’s Going To Die (2013)

Everyone's Going To DieWaking to find herself adrift in a stranger’s swimming pool dressed as Charlie Chaplin, Melanie (Nora Tschirner) makes her way back inside while unsuccessfully trying to reach her fiance on his mobile phone. Later that morning she meets Ray (Robert Knighton) at an unassuming cafe in Folkestone, Kent, finding him with a bunch of flowers intended for his late brother’s widow. A friendship quickly develops, and they spend much of the afternoon together before going their separate ways so that Melanie can babysit for her future sister-in-law and Ray can take care of some business across town.

A sedate, idiosyncratic black comedy from a pair of young Londoners who go by the name of “Jones”, Everyone’s Going To Die is an exercise in good-humoured cynicism. With its two milling misanthropes and barren backdrop, the film paints a picture of desperation and melancholy that is severely lacking in a silver lining — poor Ray seems to be caught in the midst of an 83 minute mid-life crisis while Melanie is facing a future with a husband she’s not sure she actually wants. Perhaps that is why the undercurrent of dark, dry humour works so well, for while the film may be bleak and fatalistic it is also funny. Often hilariously so.

As in Oh Boy, another film with a disaffected German protagonist that is currently playing at this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival, the out-of-touch protagonists serve to highlight the absurdity of their surroundings. Whether it is Ray asking for his coffee without sugar, only for the barista to point out that you add the sugar yourself, or Melanie taking a waitressing job in which she is required to roller-skate in fancy dress, “Jones” succeed in making their audience sympathise with the two characters while also inviting you to laugh at them. This is best encapsulated during a scene set at his brother’s family home, where Ray is asked to participate in a play written by his estranged nephew designed to help her cope with the loss of her father.

That both characters remain so incredibly relatable throughout their unlikely adventures is testament to the talents of its impressive cast. Robert Knighton — a carpet fitter from London who, at the age of 50, made the move into modelling (and, shortly afterwards, filmmaking too) — is captivating as Ray, a socially awkward and softly spoken reluctant gangster. It is German actress Nora Tschirner who makes the biggest impression, however, delivering a measured and beautifully ironic performance as Melanie. Having asked Ray to pull over so that she can talk to her fiance on the phone, Melanie turns to Ray and explains how she came to be living in Folkestone. It’s exquisitely written, and Tschirner plays it perfectly.

A confident directorial debut, Everyone’s Going To Die is a film packed to the brim with new and emerging talent. Funny, poignant and brilliantly offbeat, this is the sort of pleasant surprise that film festivals thrive on, and a film that perhaps paradoxically deserves both mainstream success and a long life as a cherished cult classic.

4-Stars

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About popcornaddiction
I am a psychology graduate, a News Writer for HeyUGuys/BestforFilm and, most importantly, a hopeless popcorn addict.

One Response to Everyone’s Going To Die (2013)

  1. Pingback: June 2013 – Wait, I feel like I should say something important | popcornaddict

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