Every Time I Die
From writers Gal Katzir and Robi Michael comes an independent thriller which weighs in fundamental motifs and plot lines, such as life, death, imminent murder, and the permanent fight for survival. Michael also takes over as film director, suggestively affirming his vision on screen. The entire editing process is signed by Katzir, while the cinematography and musical score are crafted by Tal Lazar and Ran Bagno respectively.
This American indie centres around Sam’s murder, which enables his consciousness to travel to his friends’ bodies, thus bringing him on a dangerous mission of keeping them safe from his killer. Rising star Drew Fonteiro is mostly known for his brief appearances in “Jane the Virgin”, in which he starred alongside Gina Rodriguez, “How to Get Away with Murder”, “ER” and Michael Bay’s “The Last Ship”. Other actors which are part of the “Every Time I Die” cast include Marc Menchaca (“Ozark”, “Homeland”, “The Sinner”), Erica Camarano (“Law & Order”, “Graceland”, “Gotham”), and twin sisters Michelle and Melissa Macedo (“Girlboss”, “Blood Heist”).
It is metaphorical and the action is not always given importance and weight. Ultimately, it is similar to the scene where Sam attempts to resuscitate a man- a closer look at his CPR technique would reveal an improper weak use of chest compressions. Whether that was accidental or planned, it does have the effect of stripping the action of all the side-events and focusing on the main story, which runs slow, morbid and heavy.
“Never actually wanted to die”. The chilling phrase, said as Sam drives in the ambulance, hints to sombre things in his past and to his struggle to understand his own life. The script is good and clever and manages to draw the audience in. I am not sure whether the purpose was to keep viewers at the edge of their seat, but “Every Time I Die” does not do that. Instead, it manages to create a gentle pull as one becomes curious to see how the next scene unfolds. It is eager, ambitious and has a certain originality, but the overarching feel is one of mellowness as scenes feel at times too long.
However, it manages to set itself apart from more budget-heavy productions that could have influenced it. What could be improved is a certain “oomph”, a bit more gravitas placed on certain key moments, which could lift the film and make it appealing for wider audiences, transform it from a good indie production to a solid thriller.
“Every Time I Die” is available on major video-on-demand platforms and is a recommended watch. We would suggest focusing on production elements such as the setting (which echoes the story), the performances and the script. We look forward to seeing what the director and writers accomplish next.