|Film review: Life Just Is (2012)|
|Written by Ivan Radford|
|Thursday, 06 December 2012 15:55|
Director: Alex Barrett
“Knowing that you’re going to die would surely give your life some sort of freedom...”
That’s the kind of dialogue you can expect from Life Just Is. Alex Barrett’s low-budget feature doesn’t so much portray the awkward twenty-something limbo between university and the real world as tackle it head on. It’s an approach that impresses in its attempts at honesty and philosophical discussions, but drags when it comes to actually watching it.
It’s a shame, because there are things to admire here – namely, the talented young cast. Fiona Ryan is superbly realistic as the artistic Claire, who finds herself slowly attracted to Tom (Nathaniel Martello-White). Her friend Jay struggles with a fear of commitment that Jayne Wisener wisely underplays, while Paul Nicholls’ appearance as her new boyfriend is a neat reminder of the former Eastenders star’s easygoing screen presence.
But Barrett’s script unfortunately doesn’t do them any favours. It centres most of all on Pete (Gordon), who finds himself going through a crisis of non-faith. One scene in which he wakes up in fits and starts to a vision of St. Francis is eerily effective – but then Pete goes on to talk about it for the rest of the film.
It’s nice to see a young British filmmaker bring a European approach to kitchen sink realism, but the laboured pretension of the discussions, mentioning Kierkegaard every few minutes, soon starts to grate. To be fair to Barrett, it probably would in real life as well.