2017 in Cinema:
Everything, Everything, 2017
Directed by: Stella Meghie
Starring: Amandla Stenberg, Nick Robinson
I am a 26-year-old man. I’m not the target demographic for this film.
Everything, Everything, a film adaptation of Nicola Yoon’s novel of the same name, stars Amandla Stenberg (Rue from The Hunger Games) as Maddy, a sufferer of Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID), a disease which forces her to remain indoors, which she has done for most of her life. This all becomes more difficult when Olly (Nick Robinson) moves in next door. The soon become friends, then their friendship evolves into a romance (albeit one with severe boundaries), and Maddy soon becomes frustrated with life inside her own bubble.
This film, to me, had some inconsistencies. Maddy’s attitude to her condition simply fades away when she sees Olly being hit by his father and she runs outside. She also lies to Olly and goes on holiday to Hawaii in an instant (after getting a credit card and being able to spend vast sums of money). For someone who’s allergic to everything, and who knows any prolonged time outside could kill her, she completely ignores this and goes on a happy journey with a lad she’s not known for too long.
The film’s tone, as a result of Maddy’s decision-making, never really takes on a serious tone. And, much like with 47 Meters Down, having characters confined to one location for a lengthy period of time can be a bit slow at times, and this film unfortunately suffers that fate.
But, alas, there are some beautiful moments in this film. Maddy tells us early on she feels like an astronaut (stuck in her own ship), and makes models then places an astronaut inside (a model diner has an astronaut eating, a model library he’s reading a book). Then, to avoid having text conversations back-and-forth, we cut to a scene inside the diner where Maddy and Olly are talking and the astronaut is in the background (rather comically trying to drink through a straw with his helmet on), and the same again when it comes to the library. Having this astronaut appear multiple times, and the connotations that go with her and the astronaut, is a really nice touch. As are having Maddy and Olly talking in the diners and the libraries as it does avoid what would be a very boring exchange of text messages.
The use of colours in this film is also beautiful. Maddy always wears white and Olly always wears black, which can be seen as symbolisms for their lifestyles, and having been stuck inside her house for so long she embraces the colours when she gets outside (the leaves, the ocean, the sky). Visually it is really nice.
The ending sees a dramatic twist, and this, for me, saved this film. I was curious as to how they were going to end this, and it’s a twist with an emotional connection and a logical conclusion. But, without spoiling it, it does make some earlier scenes very convenient (almost as if Plot Convenience was a guest star), and that hampers it a little bit.
A beautiful use of colours and a nice connection between the two leads (and a decent performance by Stenberg) help this film, but unfortunately it does seem to stall at times due to her not being able to leave the house. Her attitude also comes across very laissez-faire, which seems unbelievable considering. A fine film, with a nice ending, but not a romance that’ll rival the very best.
Plot: * * Acting: * * Writing: * * Presentation: * * *