It’s not often that something can feel so simple and yet so strange at the same time. Everything’s Going to be Okay is definitely one of those experiences. The short is a very simple story – Alex and Jake are on a hike across a desert, which soon takes a turn for the worse. Jake has a wound on his leg and it’s made evident very quickly that it has gotten infected and is quickly spreading. It then becomes a choice for Alex – does she abandon Jake and go get help, or does she help him but further risk the death of them both?
It’s a very simple and very effective story. At only thirteen minutes long, it’s a pretty decent length, making sure that the story isn’t dragged out and yet gets enough time to put its point across. The cinematography for Everything’s Going to be Okay does an excellent job of demonstrating how isolated these characters are. We get some admittedly lovely shots of the desert around them – but we do get an excellent sense of desolation too. We know from the first moment that Jake’s predicament is made clear that they are beyond help from others. Despite the open space, it works to make the audience feel claustrophobic.
The film-making and tension that it brings, thanks to perfectly times editing, great camerawork and effective use of sound does make our characters easy to sympathise with and root for. I even liked the colour scheme that the film used, it was a desert yellow covering everything. This does make sense because they’re in a desert. It also makes the film feel gritty, grimy and unflinchingly realistic. It was almost like the first moments in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in how it made the film feel.
This did make what I assume were supposed to be comedic moments feel very out of place however. If it was never meant to be comical, then something went a little wrong. There’s one moment in particular – Jake is describing how isolated and how much danger they are both in – and the it comes off as a comedy shot. The camera is drawn further back between edits, it felt like one of those action film parodies where the filmmaker is playing with action film dramatics.
While the film-making was on point, outside of the comedy moments, the performances left a little bit to be desired. They certainly weren’t terrible, but there was something about the delivery of their lines that didn’t really work for me. It came off as too dramatic at times and a little too deadpan at others. Again, if I was certain that this was a comedy I wouldn’t have minded, but I’m not entirely sure if that was the point of it. The script is pretty well written, albeit a little preachy towards the film’s close – though, to be fair it’s still well written and feels earned.
Depending on how you perceive the film – whether or not it’s supposed to be comical at times or not – the ending might completely lose you. I’m willing to accept fault here, as I wasn’t sure as to what the film was aiming for, so to me it was a bit jarring. I’ll admit to laughing, but I was very confused by the choice made at the end too. To many, I can see that as being good enough, and even improving the overall film. It just didn’t work for me.
Everything’s Going to be Okay is one of those films where I really don’t know what to make of it. I’m inclined to say that I liked it, even if it was lost on me. I loved the film-making and it, at least until the end, it told a very effective story. I just couldn’t pinpoint its tone. I recommend seeing it as I know many will enjoy it and find it interesting. To me, that at least is a good sign of success.
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