Everything In Between is a romantic drama based around two lost souls. Set in Sydney, Australia the film follows depressed 18-year-old Jay (Jordan Dulieu) after a foiled attempt at committing suicide.
While at a brief counselling session in hospital Jay is approached by 28-year-old free spirit Liz (Freyja Benjamin). Liz’s globetrotting backpacking adventure has been put on hold by a mysterious possibly deadly illness she has contracted. Immediately sensing a bond, Liz pushes against the walls Jay puts up to initiate a conversation.
The two begin down a road of friendship and eventually love entwined by their respective troubles and world views. Beyond this, Jay’s jaded socialite parents David and Meredith (played by Martin Crewes and Gigi Edgley respectively) are going through their own issues, and these four lives clash together in a story of love, sadness, and acceptance.
Everything In Between may be a familiar tale of love and loss, although it is not without its charm. It tackles serious issues such as completely dysfunctional family units leading to suicidal depression in teens. These are ballsy issues to take on and with its, at times, amateurish production, Everything In Between displays a real independent film vibe which I actually love.
Filmmaker Nadi Sha may still be new to the game, but I can appreciate their tenacity and spirit. I became interested in this film immediately upon hearing they were self-distributing a cinematic release. In such a turbulent time and with such stiff competition in theatres, I applaud Aussie filmmakers taking risks such as these.
The film has brought together an impressive cast with Aussie stars like Edgley and Crewes but also newcomers Dulieu and Benjamin. Benjamin in particular blows away in her feature film debut as Elizabeth Myers. It is from her that the vast majority of the film’s heart and emotion radiates.
Dulieu turns in an authentic performance as a depressed youth. Much of his initial communications are little more than a series of disinterested mumbles. As someone who was told to ‘speak up’ in my darker teen years I can attest this is a faithful recreation of depression.
At first, I felt Dulieu was too attractive for the role of a complete social outcast. Although, I came to my senses as it fits perfectly within the film. This is a smart, handsome, and privileged youth with everything a teenage boy would want, but it means nothing without a lust for life. Not to mention, he is the spawn of two beautiful and totally superficial parents. While they love Jay, Meredith is more interested in drinking and David in cheating than listening to their son.
As a fan of her work in Farscape and Blackjack, I was surprised to see Gigi Edgley here. She was all but unrecognisable as this privileged upper class drunken mother figure. Martin Crewes also delivers both likeable yet despicable performance as Jay‘s encouraging but oblivious father. Unfortunately, some of his scenes come off as more comedic than I think was intended. Particularly one as he is ‘helping’ Jay fill out a post-suicide attempt leaflet.
While Everything In Between’s story is somewhat threadbare, that’s all it needs to be. I adore how the relationship between Jay and Liz develops with both characters lacking something vital that the other can give. Although it feels that Liz does basically throw herself at Jay, it is important to take notice of the film’s opening. We see Liz on a drug induced spirit journey which drives her from that point forward. These inexplicable visions and CGI hallucinations make me want to rewatch the film to fully appreciate how prophetic they were.
Everything In Between although rough around the edges, features some amazing performances and a hard-hitting story to make up for it. I high recommend this film to those looking for melancholy romantic dramas with depth and for film goers who wish to support the Aussie film industry and up and coming filmmakers.