18th Nov2019

‘Somewhere In The Middle’ Review

by Alain Elliott

Features: Jasika Nicole, Griffin House, Jeff Nishinaka, Aaron Tap, Dan McCaw, Jessica De Gouw, Keegan-Michael Key, Tracie Thoms | Directed by Nathan Ives

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I love a good documentary. A well made documentary,whatever the subject can draw you in and captivate you perhaps more than any other genre of movie. I don’t have to be interested in the topic to be interested in the documentary about it. But when I am, it becomes even more an interesting watch.

Somewhere In The Middle centers on five people. Five artists, who aren’t earning millions through their artistic life but they also aren’t one of the millions who gave up because they aren’t making all that money. These five people are ‘somewhere in the middle’.

One of the reasons this doc works so well is that the five people are super likeable. Just nice, normal and relatable people. There’s the painter – Dan McCaw, the paper artist – Jeff Nishinaka, the actor Jasika Nicole, the musician Griffin House and guitarist Aaron Tap. Each of them talk openly about their their lives, their careers, how they got to where they are, the ups and the downs and their regrets – and there are plenty of those. The honesty from everyone is refreshing. They all understand how lucky they are to be where they are. And they’ve all been through some tough times to get where they are- while understanding that there will probably be tough times in the future too

The conversations on success are some of the most interesting ones. Some worry about whether their latest job is their latest and if that could be considered a success while others believe that just because they aren’t the most popular thing in the world in their chosen profession doesn’t mean they aren’t successful. Of course success and what it means is a personal opinion and no-one is wrong.

In between the talking heads, there’s also some really cool quotes from well known people throughout history. We also get footage of the people doing their jobs – Jeff Nishinika’s paper art is unreal but everyone of them is clearly very talented) and the music used is perfect. Strangely emotional right from the opening ten minutes and from then on. Much of it is from the two musicians interviewed.

This is probably best viewed by other ‘artist’s’. It’s a film made by artists for artists BUT that said I would say anybody that is trying to make a living out of something they love and might be struggling a little, will definitely get plenty of enjoyment from this. When you hear about an actor who has starred in well known shows talk about the time she ‘borrowed’ money from her room-mates laundry jar so she could buy food from the 99c menu, you will completely understand where they are coming from. You will also probably gain some hope from these stories. You can do it, you can do what you love for a living.

Somewhere In The Middle is a truly inspirational documentary. If you are having a tough time of things, wanting to do what you love but finding it very difficult, then give this doc a go. It will not only inspire but also put a huge smile on your face.

**** 4/5

Somewhere In The Middle is available on VOD now.

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