Despite the rather ominous title, Everyone’s Going To Die is a film that will make you care for the two central characters while also making you smile a lot, and even laugh on occasion. It’s a fantastic romantic comedy, heavily disguised under the typical dressings of a dark, hip thriller.
Written and directed by a creative duo who just bill themselves as Jones, this is an assured and consistently entertaining debut that takes a standard movie conceit – the two people who run into each other and then meet up again and spend some more time with each other as various vignettes are played out – and makes it into something much more, thanks to the way the movie is able to dance around tonally with an air of playfulness tying every scene together.
Nora Tschirner plays Melanie, a young woman who we first see recovering from a pretty lively party. She has been trying to get a hold of her boyfriend on the phone, but he’s been unavailable. When he finally calls it is to ask her to babysit his niece. When buying her breakfast in a small coffee shop, Melanie is helped out by Ray (Rob Knighton), a man who gives her the 20p required to fully pay the bill, and then they go their separate ways. But, this being a heavily disguised romantic comedy, they don’t stay separated for long, and it’s not long until Melanie is finding out more about Ray, and vice versa.
With two wonderful lead performances, Tschirner and Knighton complement each other perfectly, and a great, small supporting cast that includes Kellie Shirley, Madeline Duggan and Stirling Gallacher, all doing great work, Everyone’s Going To Die would have been enjoyable enough with a decent script and competent direction. The fact that both of those aspects are more than just decent lifts the whole movie up to greatness. The script mixes in some nice details with many moments of contemplation (about the lives of the characters, about certain situations, about how to deal with a hotel television set that seems to keep sticking on a very embarrassing channel) and the direction is unfussy and always calculated to best serve the material and performers. There are one or two flourishes here and there, but none that stand out as being there just because someone is desperate to show all that they can do in their debut feature.
Brilliantly hitting the same beats that so many other movies do, but with a darker (though equally genuine) heart than most, this is a near-perfect treat, and already one of my favourite films of 2013.
STARS: NORA TSCHIRNER, ROB KNIGHTON, KELLIE SHIRLEY, MADELINE DUGGAN, STIRLING GALLACHER
RUNTIME: 83 MINS APPROX