LOVE & OTHER LIES: A Pursuit Of Happiness
We are often faced with circumstances that challenge us in ways we feel unprepared to face. Sometimes, these challenges come in the form of an option: to accept or deny, to speak or to be silent, to stay or to go.
We are often faced with circumstances that challenge us in ways we feel unprepared to face. Sometimes, these challenges come in the form of an option: to accept or deny, to speak or to be silent, to stay or to go. For the three characters in Love & Other Lies, these difficult decisions are proposed at the threshold of each relationship – testing the strength of each individual involved.
Facing Relational Inadequacies
Love & Other Lies (directed by Jacqui Blue) spends its time focusing on the complex romantic relationship between Salina (Jacqueline Bustamante) and Jerry (Jeff Vernon). Tangentially, Jerry’s dispassionate relationship with his wife, Laura (Michelle Arthur) weighs heavily on the characters and as acts as an anchor to Jerry’s happiness.
It is hinted at the start of the film that Jerry is married to Laura, though his infidelity is presented to Salina as the film progresses. He confesses this to her when she discovers another secret in their relationship that forms a wall between them. It is the combination of these two secrets that pushes Salina to face the reality of her partner’s flaws.
Societally, a rigid dichotomy exists between being flawed and being flawless where never the twain shall meet. I am of the belief, however, that you can find beauty in flaws (or sometimes come to accept them). That’s what makes us human. As Blue says in her Director’s Statement, the characters in this story are just, “people being people.”
Sight, Sound, and the Pursuit of Happiness
Also in the Director’s Statement is a preface about the film’s audio. I feel for the creators as they experienced significant issues with the sound, making it difficult to hear some of the dialogue. However, the film’s score is not hindered at all (for which I am thankful), and it plays well alongside the drama that ensues. If you can hear past the technical difficulties, you will find a story that touches on sacrifice, endurance, and love – all realized by powerful actors who skillfully convey these topics.
Lighting is a key component in reflecting the narrative components of this film. For example, the scene with Salina and Jerry in the bedroom is bathed in very soft, warm tones emanating from the sunlit window. In contrast, the scene between Laura and Jerry is washed in cold tones that further symbolize the lovelessness in their marriage.
In addition, Laura is lit from below – casting shadows and highlights that give her a sinister look. The cool whitish-blue light applied at this angle is especially effective in signifying the deeper issues within their relationship.
Further, Love & Other Lies poses the question: what differentiates the characters, or further, what differentiates us from one another? To accept the inadequacies of yourself and others takes strength and will-power. In this film, you are challenged along with the characters to make difficult decisions with them and thus connect to the deeper parts of yourself.
Question: Do you find flawed main characters to be relatable or do their mistakes bring you out of the story?
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