The Darkest Universe (2016)

November 2nd, 2016
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir.: Tom Kingsley, Will Sharp; Cast: Will Sharp, Tiani Ghosh, Joe Thomas, Sophie Di Martino, Chris Langham | Comedy Drama | UK 2016, 86 min.

In a bid to be original Tom Kingsley and Will Sharp (Black Pond) deliver a hotchptoch of clichés in an indie drama which is inaccessible and sometimes hilarious – for all the wrong reasons.

Financial trader Zac (Sharp) is looking for his sister Alice (also co-writer) who has disappeared on a boat moored at Camden Lock, along with her boyfriend Toby (Thomas). Random flashbacks tell the story of the missing couple, who have both been unable to communicate properly with friends and family. But soon Zac’s story of “finding himself” takes over: Rejected by his girl friend Eva (De Martino), he cuts off his hair, produces maddening videos, which hardly help to find the missing couple, and visits Toby’s father Alan (Langham), in a country house where Toby grew up. There Zac discovers Toby’s cartoon story by entitled ‘The darkest Universe’, written for his sick mother, when he was little. Zac sinks deeper and deeper into a depression, blaming himself for Alice’ disappearance, having promised their dead mother, that he would look after Alice. The solution to their disappearance is about as nonsensical as the film itself.

DoP Will Hanke’s dreamy images of floating clouds are wasted on this amateurish production, which pretends to be enigmatic, and the actors try in vain not to sink to the level of script and direction – for which they are, at least partly, responsible. AS


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