24 February 2016 | sr7628
Haunting Love Story with a Dark Edge
I was able to catch a screening of Everlasting at the Nevermore Film Festival, where it won Jury Award for Best US Feature. In my opinion, it has a little something for nearly everyone. It's at its core a love story, a tale of two misfit star crossed teen lovers. But it's also a mystery and a thriller, with a broad reach - stretching from your average high school classroom to the seedy underbelly of LA's fetish scene, from beautiful, bright fields, to the dimly lit living room of a murderer.
First and foremost, the film is beautifully shot and well written, weaving the story from a mix of video clips (from a school project), memories, and real time episodes. The non-linear and multi-mode fashion could have turned out clunky and awkward, but it moves us quite smoothly to the climax. The intermittent scenes that capture the young couple in nature, as they make their trip from Denver to LA, are some of the most haunting as they seem to capture the true essence of teen love and that feeling of immortality and bravado that accompanies youth, even in the face of undeniable change.
The lead actors are believable in their roles. Valentina de Angelis portrays Jessie as both adventurous and vulnerable, as she is drawn to the dark side of humanity that ultimately leads to her downfall. Adam David as Matt, her estranged boyfriend desperate for closure and driven by a need to preserve Jessie's true nature. A strong cadre of supporting actors round out the story as well.
Possibly the most jarring aspect of the film is its plausibility. This is the type of story we hear on the news. Another lost girl trying to find her way taken too soon. And though some may not find the ending sensational enough, it felt real. These crimes do happen. The victims are blamed and the perpetrators become renowned and celebrated. Everlasting tries to take that victory away from the criminal by focusing on Matt and Jessie, and their story. Watching this film left me sad, but touched, because it is truly successful in making you care about the characters.