February 8, 2024

REEL | Daisy Ridley Daydreams – 'Sometimes I Think About Dying'

"Do you wish you could unknow me?"
Daisy Ridley Dave Merheje Rachel Lambert | Sometimes I Think About Dying
Oscilloscope Laboratories / Point Productions
Indie director Rachel Lambert expands the coastal Oregon-based, quiet romantic dramedy Sometimes I Think About Dying about the everyday anxieties of social interactions, adapted from the 2013 play Killers by playwright Kevin Armento and originally turned into the 2019 short film of the same name, starring Star Wars actress Daisy Ridley (also a producer) as a nondescript cubicle worker struggling to maintain a basic office romance.

Co-starring Windsor native and comedian Dave Merheje as Ridley's new co-worker, Lambert slowly and deliberately composes the film's midsized office and sleepy small-town setting with a drab sense of lacklustre minimalism. Ridley's Fran obsessively daydreams about dying, as the title suggests, without any overt suicidal tendencies despite how her mundane life plays with a collective sense of everyday dissatisfaction. Her biggest flaw is her constant doubting if herself, disinterest in her own life, and struggle to connect over small moments or tidbits with others.

Scripted by Armento, Stefanie Abel Horowitz, who directed the short film, and Katy Wright-Mead, Sometimes has a lot to say about the forced necessities of social obligations and gatherings through the lens of office workplaces and living in a community where everyone knows each other. Ridley's restrained but emotionally complex performance grounds the often more muted or odd elements of the film's simplicity in contrast to the surreally-realized fantasy elements involving imagining her own demise.

How Sometimes I Think About Dying unfolds its unfussy, small-scale sense of personal isolation with dry, witty humour that sustains its spare ninety-minute runtime through a carefully composed cinematic structure. Its dreamlike mediation on loneliness and antisocial behaviour reveals some common sensibilities of humanity.

Sometimes I Think About Dying screens at the VIFF Centre.


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