I have a spreadsheet that contains everything Michael Eklund has acted in and my goal is to watch all of it and blog about it along the way. There will be spoilers.
EKLUND’S FIRST IMDB CREDIT!
A pre-film-school feature film, made in 2000. The Other Side of Being focuses on a woman’s confused journey after the death of her father. Where is she and who are the people suddenly interested in her. Are they telling the truth?
As stated above this is a pre-film school feature film. I’m not saying it’s bad or poorly made in any way, it’s actually a bit of a lucky find and the behind the scenes are hilarious. It does suffer from a few confusing parts about the plot, maybe it was a bit too big for the director and budget, but the whole thing is very watchable.
What also makes this film special is I also got to watch it with my friend Annette (from the Earp Chirp podcast, go listen to it) who is also a Michael Eklund fan. This is a film best watched with friends so you can all be confused together. It’s also fun to trade theories on what the HECK is going on. Then when they finally reveal it and you have even MORE questions, you have someone to be confused with.
It’s available online for free in its entirety, (and the behind the scenes) and I encourage you to watch it before reading on. There are only so many spoilers I can avoid when the movie is a giant plot twist.
The very brief summary is: Tragedy befalls Angela’s family and she leaves her home upset/depressed. Angela finds herself on the beach surrounded by cigarettes, a teddy bear and an empty liquor bottle. Sheye, played by Adrian Glynn McMorran, you may recognize him (19 years later) from A LOT OF THINGS like Supernatural, Smallville etc. finds her and says he can help her, it’ll just require her following him through the forest to meet a guy named Julian. It’s all very vague.
Michael plays Rhys. Rhys may be Sheye’s friend, but he’s out for himself. He’s loyal to Julian, acting as a sort of guide bringing people to him and offers the status quo side of the conversation. He doesn’t understand why Sheye would turn against Julian for a woman. Especially one he just met.
The film is anchored by this question of where are they? We’re given clues throughout that something isn’t right, such as the time of day not matching the snippets we see from Angela’s family trying to find her. Are Sheye, Rhys, and Angela dead? Is this limbo? Who is Julian, is he some type of being that sends people to heaven/hell?
Sheye quickly shows his true colours. He wants to help Angela and seems to be suspicious of Julian’s true motives after all this time. Rhys stays true throughout the film though, and while I’d love to see him suddenly redeem himself near the end … nope.
Knowing this is Eklund’s first IMDB credit, it’s fun to see the beginning and point out all the little things he started doing then and still does now. While #BabyEklund (aww!), he’s got the acting chops already starting to show. That glare (the picture above-left is taken from the behind the scenes) definitely aged well. We’re also treated to little acting ticks that show up in Bobo and Martin when he’s interacting with people while still being aloof and slightly menacing. This film also shows off his ability to just show up in the woods suddenly. One minute no Rhys, next minute there he is in his suede? corduroy? jacket. Give it seventeen years and he can trade it in for a fur coat.
If you’re a Michael Eklund fan, I encourage you to see this movie. It’s free, legally and easily accessible and you can see the beginning of his career. Let me know what you think of the storyline, too.