The first Australian film with an all Jazz score has been placed upon us!
Me & My Left Brain, directed by and starring Alex Lykos, is an Australian indie film that revolves around the protagonist, Arthur, as he balances mental illness and his love life. Being in his late thirties, Arthur wants to settle down. He has been seeing Helen (played by Chantelle Barry), who he wants to be more than friends with, however, he’s convinced that she has him ‘friend zoned’. His undisclosed love life leads him to overthink and experience sleepless nights, as he dissects every moment of their relationship over several months. While Arthur does this, he is followed around by a representation of the left side of his brain, played by Mal Kennard.
When Arthur catches up with a high school friend, the movie attempts to create comedy around the idea of a ‘traditional’ happily ever after. Although this man and his wife seem well off and have a child together, they are both glued to their phones––which raises whether this ‘traditional’ lifestyle is always the best outcome.
The film’s comments on contemporary society doesn’t stop there. In a scene showing a conversation between Helen and Arthur, subtitles appear on the screen that read differently to what they are saying aloud. Not only does this add comedic value, but it also implies the notion that people say one thing but really mean another, particularly in the dating field. A common example of this is the phrase, ‘let’s do this again sometime’, which translates to ‘this won’t be happening again’.
Throughout the film, Arthur creates many great memories with his best friend, Vivien (played by Rachel Black), however as his obsession over Helen grows, he begins to forget about her. Vivien has been struggling with her own issues, most notably her husband’s weird sexual requests. After Arthur goes to an interview and confesses his depression, he realises the person he wants to be with is in fact Vivien. Torn between this conflicting situation, what will be the fate of Arthur’s love life?
Me & My Left Brain has a lot to say about mental health, with the concept of Arthur’s left brain representing his alternate personality and his depression. At one point he states, “I’m happy being miserable”, detailing that his overwhelming sadness feels natural to him. The film also tries to convey another important message, suggesting that nobody is alone, as Vivien also has a left-brain character (played by Natalia McLachlan). At the end of the film their left brain’s talk to each other, creating a hilarious interaction and proving they make each other better.
A large component of the film is the all jazz score, representing each character’s emotions throughout each scene. Award-winning Cezary Skubiszewski (Red Dog, The Sapphires), composed and produced all of the film’s, which brilliantly matches the visuals and to the enjoyment of the film.
As a lover of romantic comedies and a jazz fanatic, this film ticked all the right boxes. The great tunes and the films discussion of contemporary issues facing society, such as mental health, provides an entertaining watch.
Me & My Left Brain is in cinemas now!