Sometimes I Think About Dying review: "Daisy Ridley demonstrates her star power"

Sometimes I Think About Dying (2023)
(Image: © Vertigo Releasing)

GamesRadar+ Verdict

There’s more to life than death in this affecting portrait of a morbid lonely soul.

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'Do you guys ever think about dying?’ asks Barbie’s Margot Robbie to the appalled dismay of her fellow playthings. In Rachel Lambert’s Sometimes I Think About Dying, an expansion of a 2019 short itself adapted from a 2013 play, the socially awkward Fran (Daisy Ridley) does little else: a secret obsession that swamps her imagination with suicidal ideations involving slithering pythons, car crashes, and ants crawling busily over sallow skin.

As grim as these fantasies may be, they are a lot more exciting than her bleak reality: a life spent shuffling paperwork in a shabby office sited somewhere on the Oregon coast. Until, that is, she meets Robert (Dave Merheje), an affable new colleague who makes it his mission to pop her bubble of isolation.

A Sundance indie tuned to a deliberately muted key, Lambert’s quiet romance is a symphony of uncomfortable silences that requires producer/star Ridley to hide her light beneath the thickest of bushels. The movie’s charm lies in watching Fran slowly blossom under Robert’s attentive ministrations, a nervous night at the pictures (followed by pie) paving the way for a subsequent murder party at which she reveals a flair for ghoulish storytelling.

Given the short from whence it came ran a mere 12 minutes, there is a definite sense of material being extended beyond its elasticity. Yet it’s a decent vehicle for Ridley that, like last year’s The Marsh King’s Daughter, shows she doesn’t need a galaxy far, far away to demonstrate her star (Wars) power.

Sometimes I Think About Dying is in UK cinemas from April 19 and is available digitally in the US now. 

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Freelance Writer

Neil Smith is a freelance film critic who has written for several publications, including Total Film. His bylines can be found at the BBC, Film 4 Independent, Uncut Magazine, SFX Magazine, Heat Magazine, Popcorn, and more.