We need to talk about Sometimes I Think About Dying.
Sometimes I Think About Dying tells the story of Fran (Daisy Ridley), a quiet woman who lives a solitary life. Although she works within an office setting, Fran intentionally keeps to herself, even in social settings. However, when the new guy in the office reaches out to her, she finds herself with an opportunity at a relationship but also feels more exposed than ever before.
Directed by Rachel Lambert, Sometimes I Think About Dying is a quiet and introspective look at the insecurity and mental health issues that plague us all. This is a film that is meant to sit in silence. The camera allows life to unfold in front of us with all the pain and awkwardness that comes from everyday social interactions. As Fran, Ridley delivers an incredibly difficult performance that is captured almost entirely through her facial expressions. Although best known for her role in Star Wars, her performance here is stripped down and raw. Fran is an emotionally complex character to bring to life as she lives a solitary life yet the embers of life still burn within her.
Though known by everyone in the office, Fran isn’t really known by anyone. She is the proverbial fly on the wall and her greatest desire is to remain unnoticed. Plagued by fear and hurt, Fran believes that her life is meaningless to everyone, including herself. When she finds herself invited into social situations, she lives in constant fear that she is being judged by those around her. When she is alone at home, she sits within her anxiety, watching each moment pass by slowly. As such, she refuses to open up for anybody, keeping her dreams of death to herself. After all, she’s certain that those around her wish that that she’s just disappear anyways.
Blurring the lines between fantasy and reality, Dying taps into the ways that our minds can swallow us up from within. This is a film that allows mental health to become front and centre. For Fran, the world would be better without her in it, even if it’s not her first priority. Coming out of the pandemic, this is the type of film that taps into our struggles to reconnect with one another. There’s a real sense that Fran has much to offer others–but she certainly doesn’t believe it. Instead, she struggles in silence.
But, while the world around her seems cold, there’s a warmth in the hearts of those around her. Dying is a film that cries out for us to see those who sit in the shadows, even in plain sight. For Fran, a simple word from another has the potential to give life. As such, there’s a certain spark within Sometimes I Think About Dying that makes the film special, especially as it asks people to open their eyes.
And, in doing so, also potentially open their hearts.
Sometimes I Think About Dying is now playing in theatres