Why are we here? What’s life all about? Is God really real, or is there some doubt? A young man named Nathan (played by Australian actor Daniel Lissing) finally receives some answers to at least a few of those questions in a short film by Michael Goode entitled, appropriately enough, The Answers. The movie comes with an intriguing tagline: “Every question you’ve had about your life in 8 minutes or less.” At the film’s outset, poor Nathan has died and finds himself in a white, featureless void of an afterlife. Coming to terms with this predicament, the film’s protagonist decides to ask a whole series of trivia questions about his own life: how many times he masturbated, how many waves he surfed, how many times he said the word “fuck,” etc. Satisfyingly, Goode’s movie provides him with exact answers to those and other queries, even cutting away to flashbacks when necessary. It’s like the ultimate Google vanity search, only with way more accurate and personalized results.
Neat as this gimmick is, it might not be enough to sustain a short feature of this nature, so a larger narrative does emerge through Nathan’s inquiries. Some of the questions and many of the answers here revolve around one particular woman from Nathan’s past: Page (New Zealand actress Rose McIver), who is the one that got away. Painful flashbacks reveal just how idea a partner she was for Nathan and pinpoint the exact second Nathan threw it all away. In a way, then, The Answers is a little like the “Ghost Of Christmas Past” segment of A Christmas Carol, only minus the holiday connection. The big difference, of course, is that Scrooge is still alive and can thus atone for some of the mistakes he made in the past? But what about Nathan? Is he out of options now? That’s one question for which The Answers does not provide a definitive answer.