The opening moments of Everything In Between have a certain chaos to them that, rightfully, may put interested audiences on something of a back foot. A selection of free-spirited hippies swirl about and congregate on a mountain top, oblivious to the troubles of the world and, seemingly, to the plight of Liz (Freya Benjamin), who wanders from the pack in a daze, reflecting on her own life as she conjures images of her past before the final confrontation of viewing her own dead body.
From there, her own experience is somewhat reflected in university student Jason (Jordan Dulieu), a well-off Sydney type who, atop a mountain overlooking wealthy city suburbs, attempts to take his own life by jumping; his plan derailed by a saving Uber driver. It’s at the hospital where he’s being evaluated that he meets Liz, slightly older and with a vitality that offsets his more sullen nature, setting up an eventual relationship that, as one should expect, will be rife with drama to fill the film’s remaining 90 minutes.
An independent film from first-time Australian filmmaker Nadi Sha, Everything In Between may be unable to escape elements of its clear restricted budget, but can’t help but be admired for purely existing and managing a theatrical release in a time that still doesn’t always favour the inside of a cinema. Sha and co-writer Grant Osborn are wise to tread carefully within the thematics of mental health, but having such reflected in the young Jason, a boy of evident wealth and privilege, allows the film to generate a conversation about mental health stability in men; even those who appear to have it all.
Given the psychological severity of the film’s central issue, it’s a shame it doesn’t always know how to navigate certain relationships that clearly add to Jason’s psyche; namely that between himself and his parents. Gigi Edgley and Martin Crewes have plenty of experience behind them, and they don’t deliver bad performances per se (although she could practice the art of subtlety more), it’s just that they lean into a more exaggerated, comedic temperament regarding their own marital situation and how they should appropriately react to Jason’s suicide attempt (Edgley’s Meredith frets, Crewes’s David tries to be his best friend and butter him up with some extra monetary treats) that feels at odds with the more subtle mentality adhered to for Jason and Liz’s relationship.
Though the film feels unsure as to who it wants to focus on – there are sequences devoted to David’s philandering nature that add very little to the overall story – and its tone is unbalanced throughout, Sha’s intent can’t be faulted in shining a light on its central issue, one that should be continually highlighted in order to normalise the validity of men’s fragility.
Everything In Between is screening in 31 locations across Australia from October 20th, 2022, with an additional 18 Hoyts locations expanding from October 27th, 2022.