Everything ends. That’s what gives it meaning. Or maybe it is all just meaningless. This may not be the year for you to contemplate that, and if so, that’s understandable, but it’s strangely reassuring to see the characters in Everything in the End approach it with a sanguine calm. There are a few tears, of course, but mostly people in a nameless village in Iceland accepting that it’s now time to reconcile, celebrate, and face death with dignity.
Mylissa Fitzsimmons has crafted an elegaic film that has only one way it can go. Something has happened, the script never really explains, and the Earth has a limited (and fairly known) number of days left. One character expresses frustration that nobody did anything about it, but it’s unclear if anyone could have. Paulo (Hugo de Sousa) has headed north not to try and escape, but to maybe find a little peace. Cagey about his family’s past, he just wants to exist, while the villagers slowly prod him back to life and allow him to process the grief he already has for family already lost.
It meanders from episode to episode as Paulo encounters people at various stages of grief. Everyone offers him food; another young man wants to wrestle. The first man he encounters, Kristjan (Joi Johannsson) gives Paulo wisdom that takes an hour and a half to really process. But Everything in the End isn’t about that destination; it is about that journey, and whether we know it or not, one way or another, we’re all on it.
This might not be the year for us to share a low-key apocalypse, but Fitzimmons clearly wants to share that our lives have meaning in the smallest details. So this might be a film you want to watch with someone you feel connected to, then maybe lift a glass, sing a song, and share a laugh afterward. Because that is everything in the end.