Directed by Eduardo Jed Camara
Starring Connie Shelton, Marcus Payne, Joseph Campion & Elle Redshaw
Short film review by Sarah Smeaton
Somewhere in the Universe is a beautiful short British film set on the idyllic Somerset coastline. The standard of shooting is impeccable, and teamed with dramatic and imposing music throughout, this is a striking piece of artwork here. The juxtaposition of wide shots of Clevedon Pier with the close ups of mundane tasks in the opening sequence, such as the wiping of a surface and the tying of an apron, cleverly depicts what is at the heart of this short film. It is a message of how even though the everyday tasks take hold, the bigger, wider picture is always trickling on by in the distance, sometimes with us not even being aware that it is.
We meet Charlie (Marcus Payne), a twenty-something guy, working in a beach café when a blast from his past literally walks through the door. From here we have a sequence of moving flashbacks that focus on when he was child with his best friend Mona. The casting here is particularly noteworthy, with young Mona (Connie Shelton) and young Charlie (Joseph Campion) both showing fantastic potential as fresh acting talent. It is quickly apparent that the young redhead from Charlie’s childhood is the lady who has walked into his café and ordered a coffee. For Charlie his life hasn’t moved very far from where he grew up. He’s only yards away from where he used to play with Mona as a child. And here is the girl he fell in love with all those years ago but who was taken away from him.
One of the most poignant moments in Somewhere in the Universe is, when in the flashback, young Charlie is struggling for breath and Mona reaches out to him with his inhaler. This is a motif that is used throughout to signify the strength of their friendship, Charlie’s gratitude and ultimately his love for Mona. A heart-breaking story of how two best friends were separated by Mona having to move away from the area with her parents. Mona (Elle Redshaw) has lived an unknown life away from where they grew up as children, and where Charlie still lives now. You will be on the edge of your seat waiting to find out how Charlie will react to Mona inadvertently coming back into his life after so much time and distance has passed between them.
Writers Eduardo Jed Camara and Robert Swithenbank have created a really originally piece of work here. They could have stuck to the age-old story of unrequited love but they’ve taken this much further and entered into newer, more engaging territory. Somewhere in the universe is that person we all still think about but for whatever reason has left our life; be it a friend, a family member or a long-lost love. This short film taps into all the emotion surrounding this in such a way that you can’t help but be swept up in the events that unfold for Charlie.