Sometimes I Think About Dying 2023 (Sundance)


From the opening of this film, Lambert sets the tone by establishing the early morning landscape in a small town. Fran (Daisy Ridley) wakes up, goes to work, and sits in her cubicle all day. The aspect ratio being 4:3 also compliments the space used as a room with four walls. So with a few technical components, the viewer is already in Fran’s head, sitting at the desk with her. For those who have worked in an office space, one can relate to the bland and uninteresting aspects of sitting at your desk day in and day out. And yes, your mind does start to wander. But in Fran’s case, she thinks about ways to die. Fran is detached from everyone in the office and keeps to herself. The score is almost dreamlike as it accompanies the dull moments of office life and her so-called uninteresting life. It counters dark thoughts and creates a sense of hopefulness. 

When Robert (Dave Merheje) steps into the office as a new hire, Fran’s world is turned upside down. And that glimmer of faith in humanity is restored. Robert takes a liking to Fran. It’s an extrovert pulling the introvert out of their shell little by little. Merheje and Ridley have lovely chemistry, even though Ridley is playing a rigid and more reserved character. Through Lambert’s direction, effective editing and sound design, we get to see how social anxiety feels through Fran. The film feels so quiet and intimate in the office setting that it may feel like nothing happens, but the characters keep you invested. Ridley’s performance is heart-wrenching, and the third act is when we appreciate the writing by Kevin Armento, Stefanie Abel Horowitz, and Katy Wright-Mead. Towards the end of the film, there are conversations about relationships and waiting for the right time that hit you emotionally. Lambert expresses that if you wait too long to do something, life will pass you by and take those years away. 

Review by: Amanda Guarragi 


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