Everything’s Gonna Be Okay by Matt Soson

Two people backpacking through the desert stop to face the reality of a dire situation.

Young couple Jake and Alex are hiking in the desert on a day-long trip, but their nature excursion takes a bad turn when Jake falls to the ground in pain. He’s got a wound that’s become infected, and he can’t go on any farther.

As he and Alex argue about what to do next, the bright sun beats down on them and there’s no cell phone reception. As the clock keeps ticking, their chances of rescue begin to dwindle away, leaving the couple to face down mortality.

Writer-director Matt Soson — who also takes on one of the lead roles as Jake — has crafted a darkly funny, philosophically rich short that takes on a subject no less than how to grapple with the meaning of one’s life in the face of its imminent end.

The film’s strengths begin with its writing and its performances. The script is packed with insights and emotions that are beautifully dramatized by the actors, who both face the situation in their unique ways while both connecting and confronting each other.

Ambitious in idea and compact in scope, the film could easily topple under the weight of its situation and subject matter, but the dialogue has banter, quips and humor to add levity to the drama happening on the screen.

However, it never loses touch with the deeper implications of what it means to face the possibility of death. The short is not afraid to explore the gamut of reactions when people are faced with the unexpected end of life: blithe positivity, adject terror and despair and everything in between.

As it reaches its conclusion, “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay” leaves us with strong emotions, as well as a powerful idea to consider, one voiced by Alex to Jake as she tries to comfort him: “You’re life is more than how you say goodbye to it. Or what you think. Or what you did or didn’t do. Because people’s lives actually only mean something to other people.”

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