Review: Life and the Art of Lying

Written and directed by Emily Schooley, a free-spirited compulsive liar struggles to connect honestly with the love of her life when devastating news drives her to pursue a renegade solution. Starring: Angela Martin, Ariana Leask, Kelly-Marie Murtha, Miroki Tong, Kari Kineear and Lisa S. Dyment.

When you receive some news that drastically affects your life, do you tell your loved ones? Or do you keep it to yourself to avoid them going through a portion of the pain you’ll have to endure? That’s the question that lies at the feet of our lead, Charlie (Angela Martin), when she finds out her cancer has returned. Those of you devoid of emotions might want to turn away at that point as things are set to head into extremely emotive territory. 

As Charlie struggles to hide her illness, she battles with the decision to not only tell the woman she loves that she’s dying but how she actually feels. It’s refreshing for this type of story to be following two women and it’s always a pleasure to see stories going down a more diverse path. As refreshing at it is, that doesn’t entirely offset the thickly laid on sentimentality, for those with a less saccharine disposition it might be difficult to take in but the film has a big heart and is laying it all out on the table. 

The film then very quickly moves into almost Sci-Fi territory, bringing in an unsanctioned treatment to cure Charlie’s illness. It feels as though this would have benefited from slightly more time spent introducing it to the story, as it stands, it’s more along the lines of a classic deus ex machina, which is a double edged sword, while it can be effective, it can also cause doubt and it gives the film too easy of a way out. This brings to question whether that’s because of the limited time in the short film to provide more of an explanation or if it’s simply not supposed to be the focus, despite its distracting nature and so is therefore not given much screen time. 

All things considered, Life and the Art of Lying has its heart in the right place, it’s providing a hopeful, meaningful story but has a few holes and goes slightly heavy on the sentimentality. It’s an interesting concept and certainly has the option into exploring the final scenes further, being left on a rather ominous note which doesn’t land as strongly without that exploration which would have been better spent showing more of its lead character’s life.

Verdict: 5.5/10 

Check out the trailer below



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