Writer: Tom Kingsley, Will Sharpe (Screenplay)
Starring: Will Sharpe, Tiani Ghosh, Joe Thomas, Sophie Di Martino, Raph Shirley, Chris Langham, Sharon D Clarke
Plot: THE DARKEST UNIVERSE is BAFTA-nominated directors Will Sharpe and Tom Kingsley’s surreal and hilarious follow-up to the critically acclaimed BLACK POND. Described by Sharpe and Kingsley as ‘a romantic comedy set in space, or – to be more specific – planet Earth’, the film follows world-weary banker Zac on his search for his eccentric sister, Alice, who goes missing while on a narrowboat trip with her new boyfriend. Poignant, funny and thought-provoking in equal measure, The Darkest Universe is an otherworldly and truly original gem of a movie from two of the UK’s freshest young directors.
Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: The Darkest Universe starts when Zac (Sharpe) starts the search for his autistic sister Alice (Ghosh) who has vanished on her boat with her boyfriend Toby (Thomas), we see how he gets the authorities involved, while placing posters along the canal, where she could have travelled along.
As the search continues, we learn more about the relationship Alice started and more about how Zac is putting his own life on hold in search for her, getting nowhere starting to push his friends and partner Eva (Di Martino) away.
Thoughts on The Darkest Universe
Characters – Zac is the brother who is desperately trying to find his sister, he has always loved her and cared for her and now she has gone missing he feels guilty for not being there for her, he creates a campaign to find her, he pushed people in his life away with his search. Alice is the autistic sister that has managed to cope with her own life with minimal care needed, only she does have her brother around if she needs him, she starts a relationship with Toby, the first person that understands her, she has gone missing, which puts concern in her brother’s life. Toby is the boyfriend of Alice, he understands her and helps her enjoy life more, he has gone missing with her though. Eva is the partner of Zac who is getting tired with having the pressure of Alice in Zac’s life.
Performances – Will Sharpe in the leading role is strong, we get to understand his concern and his own problems he is going through as a character. Tiani Ghosh does well giving us a true to life character you would imagine seeing, with the rest of the cast doing a good job through the film.
Story – The story here follows a brother in desperate search for his lost sister, which sees him questioning his own life and seeing what may have caused her to disappear in the first place. This is a story that focuses on siblings relationship, while showing how close family can be when dealing with mental problems, with this one using autism, we see what is means to both having one around, with how big losing one would be to damaging somebody. The timeline is slightly confusing at times because we do bounce between the blossoming relationship Alice is having, to Zac’s search for her, this could be smoother for a better understand to why everything happened.
Comedy/Mystery/Romance – The comedy in this film comes from seeing how Zac goes about trying to find his sister, it is does in a quirky way that balances serious with desperation, with the big mystery about what happens to Alice being the biggest part of the movie.
Settings – The film uses the settings to show the important locations for both Zac and Alice’s life, it shows that you can have memories in any locations in life.
Scene of the Movie – What really happened.
That Moment That Annoyed Me – The timeline is messy.
Final Thoughts – This is a charming movie that shows siblings relationship will always have ups and downs, with the love between the two coming through strong.
Overall: Charming and Delightful.