EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN
THREE STARS Life's about to change for a suicidal teen when he meets a young woman in hospital.
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Starring Jordan Dulieu, Freya Benjamin
Jay (Jordan Dulieu) is an unhappy young man. Before the film is ten minutes old he’s already tried to kill himself. A taxi driver stops him throwing himself off a Sydney clifftop. Why he’s suicidal isn’t immediately clear; sure his parents are moderately self-centred, selfish and annoying but no more than most. Meanwhile on the other side of the world, Liz (Freya Benjamin) is having an out-of-body experience in the Mojave desert. She’s a moderately unconventional ‘world-traveller’ who, as fate would have it, turns up in the same hospital as Jay some weeks later. She strikes up a friendship which, at first, could save Jay’s life.
EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN is a modest film and first feature from writer / director Nadi Sha. Stories about mental health, as important as they are to be told, can be a minefield so it’s to his credit (and that of seasoned TV co-writer Grant Osborn) that this lands as neither mawkish nor overly precious in its depiction of Jays illness. In fact, he appears as little more than a morose teenager, clearly what his parents thought until they realised his depression was much deeper, much more serious.
When Liz’s health takes a serious dip, Jay’s mental health seems to dip even further. While the narrative flirts with daytime-drama, Sha manages to keep things afloat and the film is buoyed by the winning presence of Benjamin in her screen debut. Sydney sparkles in the background, which does no harm either.
In short, EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN is not an earth-shattering film but nor did it set out to be. It’s the straight forward telling of a moderately unconventional mental health love story. That Jay is able to find a way to manage his depression without resorting to props or worse is a thread that should find favour with many young people (and their parents). Kudos to Sha and Osborn for telling that story.