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average rating is 5 out of 5


Joe Beck


Posted on:

Oct 27, 2023

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Danny Gibbons
Written by:
Danny Gibbons
Jay Simpson, India Brown

Driving through the city at night brings out emotions never really felt at any other time. Whether it be London, New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo or any other city, there’s something about those night lights, especially the neon ones, and the glow they leave in the air which brings out a contemplative side of people. This isn’t merely a state exclusive to the driver, however, passengers more than often will experience a similar reflective state, lulled by the shining city lights against the dark sky. ‘Sherbet’ explores this dynamic between driver and passenger as they travel through the city at night to excellent effect, with thoughtful meditations on life and humanity that wouldn’t come out in any other environment.


We’re introduced to Rene (Jay Simpson), a taxi driver who neither looks nor sounds like a Rene, as his passenger Isa (India Brown) makes pains to point out. Rene is a man fed up with life and the world, listening to calming meditations when in between jobs to try and ease the pain of the world on his shoulders. It’s late night when he picks up Isa, who instantly grates him due to her incessant questioning and leaning forward in the car without her seatbelt on. Rene is all rigid and tight up, afraid to let loose a little - though understandably he doesn’t want to lose his licence - the polar opposite to Isa, who appears, at least on the surface, to be filled with enthusiasm for life and the desire to live it to its fullest potential.


Isa’s constant philosophising annoys Rene, who’s own philosophy on life is ‘you’re born, you’ve got to be f***ing kidding me, you die’, and his anger bubbles further when Isa pukes in the back of the taxi, though luckily she manages to catch it all. Isa’s constant ‘live while you’re young’ attitude and desire to have fun is at odds with Rene, whose responses become increasingly blunt and sarcastic, fed up of having to listen to a perspective so distantly remove from his own. Writer-director Danny Gibbons establishes this dynamic perfectly, however, then comes the real masterstroke in the his excellently written screenplay, as he delivers a truly shocking twist in the narrative which elevates the film to another level of euphoric deliberation over life.


Danny Gibbons screenplay maintains a composure throughout that allows it to reach such highs of thought - creating both two extremely compelling and engaging characters, who are excellently brought to life by Jay Simpson and India Brown’s astonishing chemistry, whilst allowing for lines of thought to become well nuanced and developed. One line in particular, about leaving home and the people you love behind is particularly striking - ‘sometimes you need to leave them to realise how much you miss them’ - in the level of depth behind such a simple line. Gibbons’ excellency in his writing is only matched by his work as director, in which he imbues the film with life and creativity, making the most simple shots pop off the screen with his visually arresting use of lighting.


‘Sherbet’ is a wonderful film of the highest quality, providing such nuanced thoughts about life through the lens of intriguing characters in a manner which both looks and sounds beautiful as a result of the excellent work of writer-director Danny Gibbons.

About the Film Critic
Joe Beck
Joe Beck
Short Film
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