With a premise which could rival some of the most thought-provoking episodes of Black Mirror, Adina Istrate’s short film Eternally Happy is a fantastically put together production which explores the relationship between memory and its part in making us who we are. Set in a near-future, the film manages to brilliantly depict a world in which a drug has been designed to help stop a devastating suicide epidemic from decimating the population.

Alastair Mackenzie (Wolf Hall, Borgen) is Dr. Louis W, a neuroscientist who is on the brink of an unprecedented medical breakthrough. Having developed the ability to travel deep into the mind, the doctor hopes to reconnect the broken memories of his patients in order to help them cope with the heartbreak of losing their loved ones. From the offset, lines between reality and fiction are deliberately blurred which in turn adds a great deal of intrigue to the proceedings. We are deliberately lead through a series of red herrings and misdirection and finally allowed to somewhat discover the big secret behind the story which is unravelling before us.

terminally happy

At 13 minutes long, the film does a great job in addressing a number of themes varying from loss, heartache and scientific advancement, however what makes it even more relatable is its ability to convey a sense of familiarity despite its futuristic setting. Staring alongside Mackenzie, are Emma Campbell-Jones (Holby City,Hollyoaks) as the doctor’s exasperated wife and William Stagg as a son whose wellbeing is at the centre of this complicated, yet deeply engaging narrative.

On the whole, Terminally Happy does a good job in building up the intrigue even if it ultimately leaves its audiences with more questions than answers, but don’t let that put you from taking time to check out this truly impressive production.