‘Sometimes I Think About Dying’ Review: Daisy Ridley’s Dreamy Indie

More often than not, most individuals’s lives are fairly boring. Passing the day on the workplace, then coming dwelling to do laundry and microwave dinner. Motion pictures have a tendency to chop these bits out, to deal with the escapist stuff, however each occasionally one comes alongside, trying to find poetry within the mundane. From its confessional title, “Typically I Suppose About Dying” reveals that will probably be concerning the inside lifetime of a comparatively personal particular person, performed by Daisy Ridley, who sits at her cubicle, imagining her physique hanging from a close-by crane, or else her corpse rotting on the forest ground.

Who’s to say what Ridley’s slump-shouldered, drably dressed character, Fran, is considering when her thoughts floats away? Director Rachel Lambert (whose delicate, Jeff Nichols-produced characteristic “Within the Radiant Metropolis” demonstrated her to be an artist of profound subtlety) doesn’t elaborate on the lonely, mopey look behind her eyes, although she does at instances depict her daydreams, presenting them as photographs greater than full ideas. These scenes are surprising, surreal, ever so barely macabre. Fran doesn’t appear suicidal, however she clearly isn’t significantly engaged in life both. A pet may assist.

The film places a film star the place a character should go, and the self-effacing blankness seems like an odd position for Ridley to be drawn to. (The “Star Wars” star additionally produced this feature-length adaptation of Stefanie Abel Horowitz’s 2019 brief, which in flip was impressed by Kevin Armento’s play “Killers.”) Ridley approaches the character the way in which Daryl Hannah did the mermaid in “Splash,” the way in which Scarlett Johansson embodied the alien in “Underneath the Pores and skin,” as if she’s uncomfortable to be confined to a human physique and doesn’t know the way to work together with different folks. However this isn’t science fiction. It’s a skinny, virtually anemic observational film for audiences who acknowledge themselves in Fran’s awkwardness.

For individuals who don’t, “Typically I Suppose About Dying” offers you loads of time to consider different issues, like organizing your sock drawer, or rating your favourite episodes of “The Workplace” (a present that felt prefer it had been made by individuals who had labored in an precise workplace). This film seems like an train in creativeness by individuals who have by no means stepped foot in a single earlier than, who assume jokes about staplers and spreadsheets seize the soul-sucking ennui of such a job. However guess what: Plenty of folks work in places of work, and never all of them waste that point twiddling their thumbs.

Hollywood (not likely Hollywood, however the indie movie neighborhood) tends to have a relatively condescending view of those that go their days at a desk. Sometimes they get it proper, as in Alexander Payne’s “About Schmidt” or final 12 months’s “Nook Workplace,” which featured Jon Hamm as a delusional workplace drone. Lambert doesn’t appear significantly taken with such workspaces, however extra within the sort of character Fran represents: She is aware of there are folks on the market who don’t relate. To not others, to not films. Maybe we’ve all felt this manner at instances, like there’s one thing incorrect with us, outsiders in any social state of affairs.

Fran feels that method as a likable co-worker named Carol (character actor Marcia Debonis, who practically steals this film away from Ridley) readies for retirement. Fran can’t assume what to put in writing within the card going across the workplace. When Carol’s occasion comes, Fran stands within the again, takes a chunk of cake and disappears — the workplace wallflower. (Within the final shot of the film, the break room seems to be crammed with precise wallflowers, however they signify one thing else: a magical realist flourish that confirms one thing has come alive on this painfully shy younger girl.)

Earlier than that may occur, Carol’s departure creates a gap, which is immediately crammed by a pleasant sufficient man named Robert (Dave Merheje), who exhibits an curiosity in Fran. He tries to make small speak, however Fran hates small speak. He invitations her to a film. Virtually every part makes Fran uncomfortable — a situation Lambert presents with sympathy, although it may be irritating for the viewers, who’re ready for Fran to snap out of no matter zombie-like funk she’s in. The expression “would it not kill you to smile?” appears to use to Ridley’s character, because the film waits for her to reconnect to others.

The 2 or three dates she shares with Robert are charming sufficient of their low-key method, though watching all of it jogs my memory of an train I as soon as gave a category filled with graduate manufacturing college students. I challenged them to do one thing that scared them, then to take what they’d discovered and switch it a narrative thought. One particular person informed me that she had labored up the nerve to talk to the stranger sitting beside her on an airplane, and whereas that hardly appeared daring sufficient to meet the task, it taught me one thing: Not everyone seems to be comfy with even essentially the most nonthreatening social interactions. “Typically I Suppose About Dying” is for these folks, who acknowledge the braveness in Fran’s child steps towards residing.