Review: Method

Written and directed by Darya Amirshahi, co-written by Matthew Choi, Amy Salvio, a young psychology student, decides one day that she wants to quit school and become an actress. With the help of her talented new friend Lydia, the two look to work together to achieve their coveted dreams in these unprecedented times. Starring: Rebecca Lachmansingh, Jacquelyn Yushkov, Sharon Juhasz and Stephanie Aboukhater.

It’s a common enough experience in your 20’s to feel lost, directionless or stuck but for many that was amplified by almost literally being trapped by Covid-19, restrictions and lockdowns. Which is where Amy (Rebecca Lachmansingh) comes in, the college experience isn’t for everyone and when you can only experience it through a laptop, it gets knocked down a few more pegs. The story surrounds that meandering feeling, mixed with isolation and loneliness. Interestingly it chooses a protagonist who’s a little offbeat and self-centred, she definitely isn’t your typical lead. It’s a choice which works but not always in its favour, holding it back at times. Especially as the story is so singularly focused, other than introducing a friendship with the strange method of persistence, it never strays far.

There’s a struggle to really build up momentum or development of the story. The characters don’t have a great deal to learn about them that can’t be done quickly, which leaves the plot to fill in that gap but it’s quite thin. There are the innate themes of improving yourself, going for your goals and committing to what you want, but they’re all within a stereotypical box and it needed a more unique angle to drive it further. The visual style feels very much in line with its protagonist, it has a youthfulness and a rough edge. There’s a mix of different shooting styles but they consistently feel off the cuff, using a looser structure. It has a touch of the 2000’s to it, with the exception of using video conferencing.

Rebecca Lachmansingh leads Method with a strong naivety, there’s a classic mix of passion and determination with laziness and procrastination. It ticks your usual college dropout boxes, trying to figure things out as she goes along. There’s a slightly odd mix of personality traits to Amy, she has an arrogance and over confidence but at the same time she’s lonely and sheltered, it’s an unusual choice. Jacquelyn Yushkov’s Lydia has a good sarcasm and stubbornness which it’s nice to see get slowly chipped away at by Amy. The two do build a nice friendship and it feels like the strongest element to this story but it takes so long to take hold that it can’t offer as much as it should.

Method is a new take on the oldie but goodie of trying to achieve your dreams. It plays things a little too safe and similar, it stays too much inside of one box and doesn’t let its story have more room to develop. It has an unexpectedly offbeat edge which works but isn’t quite embraced far enough to add a larger personality, keeping things fairly earnest. It feels like we only got the beginnings of a story and it needed to take things further and expand its relationships to really flesh things out.

Verdict: ✯✯½ | 5/10

Available now to rent and buy on Amazon (in the US and UK) & Vimeo worldwide

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