OTT Review: The In Between
A romance drama, which is more of an out-of-body experience: The In Between is a bitter-sweet exploration of love being ‘spiritual’
More than 30 years ago, there was a Hollywood movie that grabbed collective eyeballs — all across the world. It was called Ghost, and it was a love story. Patrick Swayze’s character devolves into a ghost after he’s killed, and for the better part of the film he tries to communicate with his lady love, played by Demi Moore. Now obviously, it’s not so easy for ghosts to fetch up in physical form, so he takes help from a medium, played by Whoopi Goldberg (a role for which she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress).
Watching The In Between will, at times, remind you of Ghost (unless you haven’t watched the latter — in which case, you should immediately make amends); what’s more, there’s a poster of Ghost that keeps popping up helpfully through the duration of the film. But the difference is that, unlike the Swayze-Moore-Goldberg-starrer, which showcases an independent man-woman relationship, The In Between is a young adult drama, where Tessa (played beautifully by Joey King) and Skylar (Kyle Allen) are high school kids — looking at getting into college — who are both angular in their own ways, and find a sense of ‘completion’ in the other. They are still trying to work on building their relationship — which is six-month-old — while being sure they are ‘soulmates’. And unlike Ghost, there are no bad guys, only twists of fate.
The In Between is non-linear, it dips in and out of past and present, and begins with the death of Skylar in a car crash. Tessa, hurt in the same accident, survives but believes she’s had an out-of-body experience — which sets the tone of the ‘paranormality’ of the film: Skylar is trying to reach out to her to pass on a message.
The movie then moves back and forth, tracing the timeline of their relationship, while factoring in ambient distractions like family and school, and the slight pushes and pulls that come with them — especially when you are in your teens.
Like Whoopi Goldberg’s character in Ghost, The In Between also has a person with ‘extra sensory perception’ who helps Tessa unravel what it is that Skylar wants to tell her. If there’s an interesting message at the end of it, it’s probably: death is not the end of love — in fact, it may be the beginning. And the journey to unravelling the message is what constitutes the crux of the film. It has all the makings of a melodrama — and does slip onto a slippery slope once in a while — but is also strangely uplifting.