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You Okay?

average rating is 4 out of 5


Jason Knight


Posted on:

Feb 29, 2024

Film Reviews
You Okay?
Directed by:
Barrett Loades
Written by:
Barrett Loades
Patrick O'Connor, Zuleika Lavender Voegele-Downing

A young man is struggling with suicidal tendencies.


This rather dramatic short places the viewer into the mind of a youngster who is contemplating putting an end to his life. The troubled man's name is James (O'Connor) and through his voice-over and by breaking the fourth wall he describes his state of mind, which is quite pessimistic.


Watching this film is not an uplifting experience. Via voice-over, James constantly talks about his suicidal thoughts and how he tries to cope with life. He explains that he does not discuss his issues with other people, that he believes that his life is no-good and that he is too afraid to take his own life. In regard to the title, James is not OK, he pretends that he is. He sits in silence at a table with his partner, Amy (Downing) and a couple of friends and when he is asked that question, he lies that he is fine and does the same when Amy inquires later on. Furthermore, James is observed as he tries (or at least seriously considers) to kill himself in a variety of ways that include attempting to cut his veins with a knife, drown himself in a bathtub or throw himself infront of a moving vehicle.


James is an example of a person who is in a dark place and is portrayed very convincingly by O'Connor, be it through physical acting or voice-over. James is suffering. He is a tormented man who does not know how to address his problems.


The factors that led to James' current state are not clear, instead the main thing this short focuses on is exploring his distressing present situation and it does that rather effectively, creating an atmosphere of despair, a place where it is only James and his negative thoughts.


Credit should go to the editing, as Loades creatively utilises match cut techniques. There is almost no music throughout and the dramatic score that is present is thanks to the work of Michael Hurst.


This is a distressing viewing, a commentary about mental health that examines the mind of an individual who is on the brink of suicide. Although unpleasant, it is an important film because it raises awareness of suicidal tendencies and it points out that people who are in such a condition should reach out for help.

About the Film Critic
Jason Knight
Jason Knight
Short Film
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