I was lucky enough to be invited to see an early screening of new British Indie LIFE JUST IS, a fresh take on the lives of urban 20-somethings, from writer/director Alex Barrett
We follow a group of friends for a week. We see relationships begin, break up and develop. However, these aren’t standard ‘movie’ relationships, and they don’t necessarily go the way the characters would like. One of them, Pete is going through a tough existential crisis, while Tom and Claire are struggling with the simpler problem of mutual attraction.
It took me a while to get into the film, but much like real friendship, I think that is because I had to get to know the characters. Once I did, I was thoroughly engrossed. I was worried that the episodic nature of the film – each day has its own title card – might break up the flow, but it works really well and actually keeps the film moving, where perhaps it could have stalled on certain events.
The film manages to be both very large in scope, discussing religion and the existence of God, and also extremely intimate. The conversations are very realistic in the way they are written and are performed naturally by the cast, which really brings the characters to life. Of course, in an ensemble piece like this, some of the characters will end up a little neglected – but wanting to know more about them just proves that what we see is interesting and well thought-out.
Ultimately, once the film had finished, I find myself wishing I could see the next day in the lives of these characters. Watch it, and you’ll feel like you’ve made some new friends.