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Sophie Jones Tells You How To Cope With Grief(There Is No way)



Sophie Jones

Starring  Jessica Barr as Sophie Jones,Skyler Verity as Kevin,Claire Manning as Claire,Charlie Jackson as Lucy,Dave Roberts as Aaron,Tristan Decker as Riley,Sam Kamerman as Kate

Directed  by Jessie Barr

Rating: ***

It feels  so real , and yet so  far away.There  is  nothing more isolating than  grief.No one can feel or share  the grief  of  losing a loved one . The bereaved  must deal with his or pain all by herself. In this case the eponymous  Sophie Jones is  so locked away in the vault of her own misery that she has  turned into a singularly  selfish  my-pain-is-bigger-than-yours monster. 


Sophie cannot understand why her  father  and sister  are  not as  devastated as  she  is by her mother’s sudden death.It is  as if  Sophie has  decided to inhabit  the pain of loss  like  an igloo in which she  is  sealed  for life. The film tracks down Sophie’s pain  and  her   inexcusably  insensitive attitude  to those who want to help her  get out of  it. 

There is  the earnest  boy Kevin(Skyler Verity) who has genuine feelings for Sophie. Their  initial  encounters are  promising. He  plays  the  guitar for her. He offers  Sophie   her  first  sexual  encounter. But she  shooes   him  away,drives  him out of her life, and chooses to squander her adolescence  in senseless highly  dissatisfying sexual encounters.

This is  a  film like  no other. It is  a sad unhappy  film about wallowing in  misery  and not allowing anyone to  come near   your  wounded  heart. As played by the  unusually  natural  Jessica Barr, Sophie is  impossible to  like. Rather than feel sorry for her, I  empathized with  people  around her who must explain to her that  they have  a different way of dealing with grief. And  that  just because they are laughing eating and  not allowing life to be frozen, it doesn’t meant they are any less  wounded. 

I believe Jessica Barr and her cousin Jessie(who wrote and  directed  the  film)   have used their own experience  with bereavement. The narration is  non-linear  and  chaotic  , probably  so  to capture  the  unique  unpredictability  of  Sophie’s universe.  Death has  taught her that anything can  happen any time. She  has therefore given up  on  the niceties.She is  showing her middle finger  to  the  rulebook  of living. Pleasantries bore her and  any sign of a committed relationship  drives her to  the  other corner.

 Sophie  Jones is not amusing diversion for an evening  when you are at  a loose end. It is an intense raw and visceral  experience where  the  protagonist’s  grief is stripped  of grace.What we see  is  a  hurting humanbeing , too far gone to cry. It’s a scary portrait of  the isolation  of grief  ,expressing thoughts that are buried too deep for years.


 In  the end we see  see  Sophie  and her sister  on the beach with their father. It looks  like Sophie is  healing.  But I  fear  that’s an illusion. Her hurt will go on.

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